Middle- and low-latitude ionosphere response to 2015St. Patrick’s Day geomagnetic storm

Middle- and low-latitude ionosphere response to 2015St. Patrick’s Day geomagnetic storm

B. Nava1, J. Rodríguez-Zuluaga1, K. Alazo-Cuartas1, A. Kashcheyev1, Y. Migoya-Orué1, S.M. Radicella1,C. Amory-Mazaudier1,2, and R. Fleury3

1T/ICT4D, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy, 2Sorbonne Paris, UPMC University Paris VI, LPP, Paris, France, 3Lab-STICC/UMR CNRS, Brest, France 

Correspondence to:

B. Nava,
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Key Points:

• The 2015 St. Patrick’s Day geomagnetic storm has been studied using different kinds of sensors and data 
• Prompt penetration and disturbance dynamo electric fields have been analyzed using spectral analysis 
• The data analysis results have been interpreted on the basis of theoretical models


This paper presents a study of the St Patrick’s Day storm of 2015, with its ionospheric response at middle and low latitudes. The effects of the storm in each longitudinal sector (Asian, African, American, and Pacific) are characterized using global and regional electron content. At the beginning of the storm, one or two ionospheric positive storm effects are observed depending on the longitudinal zones. After the main phase of the storm, a strong decrease in ionization is observed at all longitudes, lasting several days. The American region exhibits the most remarkable increase in vertical total electron content (vTEC), while in the Asian sector, the largest decrease in vTEC is observed. At low latitudes, using spectral analysis, we were able to separate the effects of the prompt penetration of the magnetospheric convection electric field (PPEF) and of the disturbance dynamo electric field (DDEF) on the basis of ground magnetic data. Concerning the PPEF, Earth’s magnetic field oscillations occur simultaneously in the Asian, African, and American sectors, during southward magnetization of the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field. Concerning the DDEF, diurnal magnetic oscillations in the horizontal component H of the Earth’s magnetic field exhibit a behavior that is opposed to the regular one. These diurnal oscillations are recognized to last several days in all longitudinal sectors. The observational data obtained by all sensors used in the present paper can be interpreted on the basis of existing theoretical models. 

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