Ionospheric Response to the 2009 Sudden Stratospheric Warming over the Equatorial, Low- and Mid-Latitudes in American Sector.
Thursday, 18 December 2014
The equatorial and low-latitude ionosphere/thermosphere system is predominantly disturbed by waves (MSTIDs, tides, and planetary waves), which are generated in the lower atmosphere or in-situ, as well as electric fields and TIDs produced by geomagnetic storm and UV, EUV, and X-ray solar radiation. For many years, it was thought that, during geomagnetic quiet conditions, the equatorial and low-latitude F-layer was mainly perturbed by waves that were generated not far away from the observed location or electric fields generated by the Equatorial Electroject (EEJ). On the contrary, during geomagnetic storms when the energy sources are in high latitudes the waves (TIDs) travel a very long distance from high latitude to equatorial region and electric fields can be mapped via magnetic field lines. However, in the recent times an unexpected coupling between high latitude, mid- latitude, and equatorial/low latitudes was discovered during sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events. All aspects involved in this process must be explored in order to improve our knowledge about the Earth´s atmosphere. The present study investigates the consequences of vertical coupling from lower to the upper atmosphere in the equatorial and low-latitude ionosphere in Southern Hemisphere during a major SSW event, which took place during January-February 2009 in the Northern Hemisphere. Using seventeen ground-based dual-frequency GPS stations and two ionosonde stations spanning from latitude 2.8oN to 53.8oS and from longitude 36.7oW to 67.8oW over the South American sector, it has been observed that the ionosphere was significantly disturbed by the SSW event from Equator to the mid-latitudes. Using one GPS station located in mid-latitude (South America sector) it is reported for the first time that the mid-latitude in southern hemisphere (American Sector) was disturbed by the SSW event in the Northern hemisphere. The VTEC at all 17 GPS and two ionosonde stations show significant deviations lasting for several days after the SSW temperature peak.