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Prestorm enhancements in NmF_2 and total electron content at low latitudes

【摘要】:正[1]The enhancement of electron concentrations in the ionosphere before geomagnetic storms is one of the open questions.Using ionosonde observations and total electron content(TEC) from Global Positioning System(GPS) measurements along longitude 120°E,we analyzed three low latitude pre-storm enhancement events that occurred on 21 April(day 111) 2001,29 May(day 149) 2003,and 22 September(day 265) 2001, respectively,in the Asia/Australia sector.All three events(and other two cases on 9 August 2000 and 10 May 2002) show quite similar features.The strong prestorm enhancements during these events are simultaneously presented in foF_2 and TEC and enhancements have latitudinal dependence,tending to occur at low latitudes with maxima near the northern and southern equatorial ionization anomaly(EIA) crests and depletions in the equatorial region.This is quite different from what reported by Buresova and Lastovicka(2007) for middle latitudes.They found no systemic latitudinal dependence in prestorm enhancements over Europe.It is argued that solar flares are not the main drivers for the enhancements,at least for low-latitude events.Main features of low-latitude prestorm enhancements do not coincide with the solar flare effects.We postulate that the vertical plasma drift or zonal electric field is a likely cause for the low-latitude prestorm enhancements.Its existence is supported by the facts of stronger EIA,the latitudinal coverage of the enhancements as well as the lift of the F layer peak height at an equatorward station during the prestorm enhancements.Moreover,the behaviors of hmF_2 at low latitudes during the prestorm enhancements may possibly be explained in terms of the coupling nature of parallel and perpendicular dynamics at low latitudes(see,e.g., Behnke and Harper,1973;Rishbeth et al,1978).

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