The effect of geomagnetic-storm-induced enhancements to ionospheric emissions on the interpretation of the TIMED/GUVI O/N <sub>2</sub> ratio


[1]\ We examine the consequence of enhanced atomic oxygen (OI) 135.6 nm emissions due to the recombination of O+ with electrons on the column number density ratio of atomic oxygen to molecular nitrogen (O/N2 ratio) provided by Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) on board the Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics satellite. GUVI O/N2 ratio is derived from the measurements of OI 135.6 nm and N2 Lyman-Birge-Hopfield airglow emissions. The OI 135.6 nm emission arises from two sources: photoelectron impact excitation of neutral atomic oxygen and the radiative recombination of O+ with electrons. We estimate the O/N2 ratio disturbance associated with the O+ density enhancement during geomagnetic storms through the case study of the storms on 20 November 2003 and 8 November 2004. The OI 135.6 nm emission enhancement originating from the ionosphere is derived using the Utah State University Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurements model ionosphere. Our results show that the O/N2 ratio increase from the equator to middle latitudes during the storm periods is primarily associated with thermospheric neutral composition disturbances. However, the contribution of the OI 135.6 nm emission originating from the ionosphere to the storm time O/N2 ratio increase is substantial in the northern low-middle latitude regions where severe plasma density enhancements occur during the main phase of the storms. Therefore, the ionospheric contribution should be considered for an accurate assessment of the storm time O/N2 ratio increase at low-middle latitudes during these large storm events.

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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