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SuperDARN observations during geomagnetic storms, geomagnetically active times and enhanced solar wind driving

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/07/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number7
Volume124
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)5828-5847
Publication statusPublished
Early online date6/07/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) was built to study ionospheric convection at Earth and has in recent years been expanded to lower latitudes to observe ionospheric flows over a larger latitude range. This enables us to study extreme space weather events, such as geomagnetic storms, which are a global phenomenon, on a large scale (from the pole to magnetic latitudes of 40°). We study the backscatter observations from the SuperDARN radars during all geomagnetic storm phases from the most recent solar cycle and compare them to other active times to understand radar backscatter and ionospheric convection characteristics during extreme conditions and to discern differences specific to geomagnetic storms and other geomagnetically active times. We show that there are clear differences in the number of measurements the radars make, the maximum flow speeds observed, and the locations where they are observed during the initial, main, and recovery phase. We show that these differences are linked to different levels of solar wind driving. We also show that when studying ionospheric convection during geomagnetically active times, it is crucial to consider data at midlatitudes, as we find that during 19% of storm time the equatorward boundary of the convection is located below 50° of magnetic latitude.

Bibliographic note

Accepted for publication in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. Copyright 2019 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.