Extreme Enhancements of Electron Temperature in Low Latitude Topside Ionosphere During the October 2016 Storm

Ruilong Zhang, Libo Liu, Han Ma, Yiding Chen, Huijun Le, Akimasa Yoshikawa

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1 Citation (Scopus)


We use the in-situ observations of DMSP and SWARM satellites to report the changes of the topside ionospheric electron temperature during the October 2016 storm. Electron temperature in the afternoon sector dramatically increases in low latitudes in the recovery phase of the storm. Furthermore, the temperature enhancements have an obvious dependence on longitude and are mainly centralized around 100°–150°E in different satellite observations. The temperature enhancements attain more than 2,000 K at 840 km and 1,500 K at 450 km around the magnetic equator. The decrease in the electron-ion collision cooling rate, resulting from the lessened topside electron density, could not fully explain the temperature enhancement. At the same time, the electron densities in crests of the equatorial ionization anomaly are suppressed drastically at 100°–150°E, which cause a less heat conduction effect from the equatorial topside ionosphere to low altitudes via magnetic field lines and heat the topside ionospheric electron temperature. Further analysis indicates that dayside westward disturbance dynamo electric field presents a significant longitude structure and is a primary driver for the topside ionospheric temperature enhancement during the storm.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022JA030278
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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