Local time dependence of the prompt ionospheric response for the 7, 9, and 10 November 2004 superstorms


We investigate the effects of penetration electric fields, meridional thermospheric neutral winds, and composition perturbation zones (CPZs) on the distribution of low-latitude plasma during the 7\textendash11 November 2004 geomagnetic superstorm. The impact on low-latitude plasma was assessed using total electron content (TEC) measurements from a latitudinally distributed array of ground-based GPS receivers in South America. Jicamarca Radio Observatory incoherent scatter radar measurements of vertical E\texttimesB drift are used in combination with the Low-Latitude IONospheric Sector (LLIONS) model to examine how penetration electric fields and meridional neutral winds shape low-latitude TEC. It is found that superfountain conditions pertain between \~1900 and 2100UT on 9 November, creating enhanced equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) crests at \textpm20\textdegree geomagnetic latitude. Large-amplitude and/or long-duration changes in the electric field were found to produce significant changes in EIA plasma density and latitudinal location, with a delay time of \~2\textendash2.5h. Superfountain drifts were primarily responsible for EIA TEC levels; meridional winds were needed only to create hemispherical crest TEC asymmetries. The [O/N2] density ratio (derived from the GUVI instrument, flown on the TIMED satellite) and measurements of total atmospheric density (from the GRACE satellites), combined with TEC measurements, yield information regarding a likely CPZ that appeared on 10 November, suppressing TEC for over 16h.

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Journal of Geophysical Research
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