Features of High-Latitude Ionospheric Irregularities Development as Revealed by Ground-Based GPS Observations, Satellite-Borne GPS Observations and Satellite In Situ Measurements over the Territory of Russia during the Geomagnetic Storm on March 17–18, 2015

Research paper by I. E. Zakharenkova, Iu. V. Cherniak, I. I. Shagimuratov, M. V. Klimenko

Indexed on: 21 Mar '18Published on: 21 Mar '18Published in: Geomagnetism and Aeronomy


The dynamic picture of the response of the high- and mid-latitude ionosphere to the strong geomagnetic disturbances on March 17–18, 2015, has been studied with ground-based and satellite observations, mainly, by transionospheric measurements of delays of GPS (Global Positioning System) signals. The advantages of the joint use of ground-based GPS measurements and GPS measurements on board of the Swarm Low-Earth-Orbit satellite mission for monitoring of the appearance of ionospheric irregularities over the territory of Russia are shown for the first time. The results of analysis of ground-based and space-borne GPS observations, as well as satellite, in situ measurements, revealed large-scale ionospheric plasma irregularities observed over the territory of Russia in the latitude range of 50°–85° N during the main phase of the geomagnetic storm. The most intense ionospheric irregularities were detected in the auroral zone and in the region of the main ionospheric trough (MIT). It has been found that sharp changes in the phase of the carrier frequency of the navigation signal from all tracked satellites were recorded at all GPS stations located to the North from 55° MLAT. The development of a deep MIT was related to dynamic processes in the subauroral ionosphere, in particular, with electric fields of the intense subauroral polarization stream. Analysis of the electron and ion density values obtained by instruments on board of the Swarm and DMSP satellites showed that the zone of highly structured auroral ionosphere extended at least to heights of 850–900 km.