Latitudinal profile of the ionospheric disturbance dynamo magnetic signature: Comparison with the DP2 magnetic disturbance

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Abstract

During magnetic storms, the auroral electrojets intensification affects the thermospheric circulation on a global scale. This process which leads to electric field and current disturbance at middle and low latitudes, on the quiet day after the end of a storm, has been attributed to the ionospheric disturbance dynamo (Ddyn). The magnetic field disturbance observed as a result of this process is the reduction of the H component amplitude in the equatorial region which constitutes the main characteristic of the ionospheric disturbance dynamo process, associated with a westward electric current flow. The latitudinal profile of the Ddyn disturbance dynamo magnetic signature exhibits an eastward current at mid latitudes and a westward one at low latitudes with a substantial amplification at the magnetic equator. Such current flow reveals an "anti-Sq" system established between the mid latitudes and the equatorial region and opposes the normal Sq current vortex. However, the localization of the eastward current and consequently the position and the extent of the "anti-Sq" current vortex changes from one storm to another. Indeed, for a strong magnetic storm, the eastward current is well established at mid latitudes about 45° N and for a weak magnetic storm, the eastward current is established toward the high latitudes (about 60° N), near the Joule heating region, resulting in a large "anti-Sq" current cell. The latitudinal profile of the Ddyn disturbance as well as the magnetic disturbance DP2 generated by the mechanism of prompt penetration of the magnetospheric convection electric field in general, show a weak disturbance at the low latitudes with a substantial amplification at the magnetic equator. Due to the intensity of the storm, the magnitude of the DP2 appears higher than the Ddyn over the American and Asian sector contrary to the African sector.

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Zaka, K. Z., Kobea, A. T., Assamoi, P., Obrou, O. K., Doumbia, V., Boka, K., … Mene, N. M. (2009). Latitudinal profile of the ionospheric disturbance dynamo magnetic signature: Comparison with the DP2 magnetic disturbance. Annales Geophysicae, 27(9), 3523–3536. https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-27-3523-2009

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