The responses of ionospheric topside diffusive fluxes to two geomagnetic storms in October 2002


O+ field-aligned ambipolar diffusive velocities Vd and fluxes Фd in the topside ionosphere have been calculated from the observed profiles of electron density, ion, and electron temperatures during a 30 day incoherent scatter radar experiment conducted at Millstone Hill (288.5\textdegreeE, 42.6\textdegreeN) from 4 October to 4 November 2002. Two geomagnetic storms took place during this period. During the negative phases (depleted electron densities) of these two storms, the magnitudes of the daytime upward Vd and Фd were less than their averaged quiet time values. Whereas at nighttime, the downward Vd and Фd were sometimes larger than the averaged quiet time values. The variations in diffusive velocity and flux during the storm main and recovery phases were caused by changes in the ionospheric scale height or the shapes of ionospheric density profiles. The negative storm effect further reduced daytime diffusive flux. During these two storms, positive ionosphere phases (enhanced electron densities) were also observed. The diffusive velocity was much smaller during the period of positive storm effect, which led to a smaller diffusive flux than the quiet time one, although electron density was higher. It appears that storm time variations in diffusive velocity were more the results of storm time changes in the plasma vertical profile, rather than the cause of these plasma density changes.

Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages
Date Published
Download citation