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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 27, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 27, 3133–3139, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-27-3133-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: 12th International Symposium on Equatorial Aeronomy...

Ann. Geophys., 27, 3133–3139, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-27-3133-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  11 Aug 2009

11 Aug 2009

Low latitude ionospheric effects of major geomagnetic storms observed using TOPEX TEC data

Y. O. Migoya-Orué1,2, S. M. Radicella2, and P. Coïsson2 Y. O. Migoya-Orué et al.
  • 1CIASUR – FRT – Universidad Tecnológica Nacional, Tucumán, Argentina
  • 2ARPL, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy

Abstract. Low latitude ionospheric effects of two major geomagnetic storms are analysed using TOPEX TEC data for specific satellite passes. The storms are the one that started on 15 July 2000 and the one that started on 8 November 2004. The variation of vertical TEC as a function of latitude along the satellite passes during day-time mostly in the region of the Pacific Ocean have been analysed comparing the storm period with quiet conditions. It has to be noted that for obvious reasons the TEC behaviour over this region cannot be observed using ground-based instruments but TOPEX data give a reasonable overall view of the region covered by the Equatorial Anomaly, just as the storms were developing.

The performance of vertical TEC obtained from GPS derived TEC of global ionospheric maps (GIMs) are compared with the TOPEX data in order to determine their accuracy when storms of this type take place.

The results show that the Equatorial Anomaly TEC peaks move towards the poles by several degrees and increase their intensity with respect to the quiet conditions behaviour for both storms that occurred at different seasons and solar activity level. This behaviour is not well represented by the maps of the different GIMs used in this study. The rate of change obtained from TOPEX TEC were computed to look for vertical TEC spatial gradients variations.

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