ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2017, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 235-248

Studying the ionosphere response to severe geomagnetic storm in March 2015 according to Eurasian ionosonde chain

B.G. Shpynev 1 , N.A. Zolotukhina 1 , N.M. Polekh 1 , M.A. Chernigovskaya 1 , K.G. Ratovsky 1 , A.Yu. Belinskaya 2 , A.E. Stepanov 3 , V.V. Bychkov 4 , S.A. Grigorieva 5 , V.A. Panchenko 6 , N.A. Korenkova 7 , J. Mielich 8 
1 Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics SB RAS, Irkutsk, Russia
2 A.A. Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia
3 Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Aeronomy SB RAS, Yakutsk, Russia
4 Institute of Cosmophysical Researches and Radio Wave Propagation FEB RAS, Paratunka, Russia
5 Institute of Geophysics UB RAS, Yekaterinburg, Russia
6 N.V. Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetizm Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation RAS, Moscow, Russia
7 West Department of Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism Ionosphere and Radio wave Propagation RAS, Kaliningrad, Russia
8 Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Kühlungsborn, Germany
Accepted: 25.05.2017
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2017-14-4-235-248
We studied the ionosphere response to severe geomagnetic storm in March 2015 on the basis of high midlatitude ionosonde chain of the Eurasian continent. For analysis of the geomagnetic field variations, we used the magnetometers data for the northern hemisphere, particularly from the INTERMAGNET data set. On the basis of the ionosonde chain data, we studied the time/longitude dynamics of the high-middle latitude ionosphere over the Eurasian continent during the geomagnetic storm. Special handle processing was performed during the ionograms analysis, which purpose was to detect the time intervals when the main ionospheric trough crossed the ionosondes positions. The criterion for such displacement of the main ionospheric trough equatorial wall was recording of the auroral type ionogram. During the storm, all stations detected the ionograms typical for the auroral ionosphere. Few observational points were located within the zone where the ionosondes showed full signal absorption. All the ionosondes detected irregular structures of the lower ionosphere, such as specific sporadic layers and travelling ionospheric disturbances. The investigation showed that during the storm, there existed a significant longitudinal inhomogeneity of the ionosphere response to the disturbances propagation from high to low latitudes. We assume that the storm-associated ionosphere dynamics is determined by the lower thermosphere disturbances due to the auroral electrojet amplifications producing the enhanced neutral wind and turbulences; these, in turn, uplift the molecular gas to the ionospheric heights. This process decreases the [O]/[N2] ratio and, consequently, the electron density. We found that after the storm, the disturbed thermosphere region moved westward and existed for more than three days. Such mechanism was confirmed by the ultraviolet imager GUVI TIMED data, where the low [O]/[N2] area moved westward over the analyzed region during and after the geomagnetic storm.
Keywords: ionosonde chain, ionospheric disturbances, geomagnetic storm, geomagnetic field variations
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