GPS Observation of Continent-size Traveling TEC Pulsations at the Start of Geomagnetic Storms

GPS Observation of Continent-size Traveling TEC Pulsations at the Start of Geomagnetic Storms

R. Pradipta1, C. E. Valladares1, P. H. Doherty1

1Boston College, Institute for Scientific

 doi: 10.1002/2014JA020177

Correspondence to:

Cesar Valladares
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Key Points:


Abstract:

We report our experimental observation of continent-size traveling plasma disturbances using GPS measurements of total electron content (TEC) over the North American sector. These plasma disturbances occurred at the beginning of geomagnetic storms, immediately after the shock arrived and prior to the appearance of LSTIDs from the auroral region. Specifically, these supersize TEC perturbations were observed when the IMF Bz was oscillating between northward and southward directions. They were found to propagate zonally with a propagation speed of 2−3 km/s. We interpret these TEC pulsations as ion drift waves in the magnetosphere/plasmasphere that propagate azimuthally inside the GPS orbit.

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