This paper presents a study of mesosphere and low thermosphere influence on ionospheric disturbances during 2009 major sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event. This period was characterized by extremely low solar and geomagnetic activity. The study was performed using two first principal models: thermosphere-ionosphere-mesosphere electrodynamics general circulation model (TIME-GCM) and global self-consistent model of thermosphere, ionosphere, and protonosphere (GSM TIP). The stratospheric anomalies during SSW event were modeled by specifying the temperature and density perturbations at the lower boundary of the TIME-GCM (30 km altitude) according to data from European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Then TIME-GCM output at 80 km was used as lower boundary conditions for driving GSM TIP model runs. We compare models' results with ground-based ionospheric data at low latitudes obtained by GPS receivers in the American longitudinal sector. GSM TIP simulation predicts the occurrence of the quasi-wave vertical structure in neutral temperature disturbances at 80-200 km altitude, and the positive and negative disturbances in total electron content at low latitude during the 2009 SSW event. According to our model results the formation mechanisms of the low-latitude ionospheric response are the disturbances in the n(O)/n(N2) ratio and thermospheric wind. The change in zonal electric field is key mechanism driving the ionospheric response at low latitudes, but our model results do not completely reproduce the variability in zonal electric fields (vertical plasma drift) at low latitudes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science