Dependence of the high-latitude plasma irregularities on the auroral activity indices: a case study of 17 March 2015 geomagnetic storm


The magnetosphere substorm plays a crucial role in the solar wind energy dissipation into the ionosphere. We report on the intensity of the high-latitude ionospheric irregularities during one of the largest storms of the current solar cycle\textemdashthe St. Patrick\textquoterights Day storm of 17 March 2015. The database of more than 2500 ground-based Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers was used to estimate the irregularities occurrence and dynamics over the auroral region of the Northern Hemisphere. We analyze the dependence of the GPS-detected ionospheric irregularities on the auroral activity. The development and intensity of the high-latitude irregularities during this geomagnetic storm reveal a high correlation with the auroral hemispheric power and auroral electrojet indices (0.84 and 0.79, respectively). Besides the ionospheric irregularities caused by particle precipitation inside the polar cap region, evidences of other irregularities related to the storm enhanced density (SED), formed at mid-latitudes and its further transportation in the form of tongue of ionization (TOI) towards and across the polar cap, are presented. We highlight the importance accounting contribution of ionospheric irregularities not directly related with particle precipitation in overall irregularities distribution and intensity.

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Earth, Planets and Space
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