© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Positive ionospheric storm effects at Latin America longitude during the superstorm of 20–22 November 2003: revisit
1Beijing National Observatory of Space Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
2State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
3School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
4Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
5Universidade do Vale do Paraíba, Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Paulo, Brazil
6Lowell Digisonde International, LLC, Lowell, MA, USA
7Center for Atmospheric Research, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA, USA
Abstract. Positive ionospheric storm effects that occurred during the superstorm on 20 November 2003 are investigated using a combination of ground-based Global Positioning System (GPS) total electron content (TEC), and the meridian chain of ionosondes distributed along the Latin America longitude of ~280° E. Both the ground-based GPS TEC and ionosonde electron density profile data reveal significant enhancements at mid-low latitudes over the 280° E region during the main phase of the November 2003 superstorm. The maximum enhancement of the topside ionospheric electron content is 3.2–7.7 times of the bottomside ionosphere at the locations of the ionosondes distributed around the mid- and low latitudes. Moreover, the height of maximum electron density exceeds 400 km and increases by 100 km compared with the quiet day over the South American area from middle to low latitudes, which might have resulted from a continuous eastward penetration electric field and storm-generated equatorward winds. Our results do not support the conclusions of Yizengaw et al. (2006), who suggested that the observed positive storm over the South American sector was mainly the consequence of the changes of the bottomside ionosphere. The so-called "unusual" responses of the topside ionosphere for the November 2003 storm in Yizengaw et al. (2006) are likely associated with the erroneous usage of magnetometer and incomplete data.