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Ionospheric response to the corotating interaction region-driven geomagnetic storm of October 2002

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • D. Pokhotelov
  • C.N. Mitchell
  • P.T. Jayachandran
  • J.W. Macdougall
  • M. H. Denton
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberA12311
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)1-8
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Unlike the geomagnetic storms produced by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the storms generated by corotating interaction regions (CIRs) are not manifested by dramatic enhancements of the ring current. The CIR-driven storms are however capable of producing other phenomena typical for the magnetic storms such as relativistic particle acceleration, enhanced magnetospheric convection and ionospheric heating. This paper examines ionospheric plasma anomalies produced by a CIR-driven storm in the middle- and high-latitude ionosphere with a specific focus on the polar cap region. The moderate magnetic storm which took place on 14–17 October 2002 has been used as an example of the CIR-driven event. Four-dimensional tomographic reconstructions of the ionospheric plasma density using measurements of the total electron content along ray paths of GPS signals allow us to reveal the large-scale structure of storm-induced ionospheric anomalies. The tomographic reconstructions are compared with the data obtained by digital ionosonde located at Eureka station near the geomagnetic north pole. The morphology and dynamics of the observed ionospheric anomalies is compared qualitatively to the ionospheric anomalies produced by major CME-driven storms. It is demonstrated that the CIR-driven storm of October 2002 was able to produce ionospheric anomalies comparable to those produced by CME-driven storms of much greater Dst magnitude. This study represents an important step in linking the tomographic GPS reconstructions with the data from ground-based network of digital ionosondes.

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Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted