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Ionospheric scintillation over Antarctica during the storm of 5-6 April 2010

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  • J. Kinrade
  • C. N. Mitchell
  • P. Yin
  • N. Smith
  • M. J. Jarvis
  • D. J. Maxfield
  • M. C. Rose
  • G. S. Bust
  • A. T. Weatherwax
Article number05304
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>3/05/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of pages23
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


On 5 April 2010 a coronal mass ejection produced a traveling solar wind shock front that impacted the Earth's magnetosphere, producing the largest geomagnetic storm of 2010. The storm resulted in a prolonged period of phase scintillation on Global Positioning System signals in Antarctica. The scintillation began in the deep polar cap at South Pole just over 40 min after the shock front impact was recorded by a satellite at the first Lagrangian orbit position. Scintillation activity continued there for many hours. On the second day, significant phase scintillation was observed from an auroral site (81 degrees S) during the postmidnight sector in association with a substorm. Particle data from polar-orbiting satellites provide indication of electron and ion precipitation into the Antarctic region during the geomagnetic disturbance. Total electron content maps show enhanced electron density being drawn into the polar cap in response to southward turning of the interplanetary magnetic field. The plasma enhancement structure then separates from the dayside plasma and drifts southward. Scintillation on the first day is coincident spatially and temporally with a plasma depletion region both in the dayside noon sector and in the dayside cusp. On the second day, scintillation is observed in the nightside auroral region and appears to be strongly associated with ionospheric irregularities caused by E region particle precipitation.

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Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.