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Observations of the F-region ionospheric irregularities in the South American sector during the October 2003 "Halloween storms"


The response of the ionospheric F-region in the South American sector during the super geomagnetic storms on 29 and 30 October 2003 is studied in the present investigation. In this paper, we present ionospheric sounding observations during the period 29-31 October 2003 obtained at Palmas (a near equatorial location) and Sao Jose dos Campos (a location under the southern crest of the equatorial ionospheric anomaly), Brazil, along with observations during the period 27-31 October 2003 from a chain of GPS stations covering the South American sector from Imperatriz, Brazil, to Rio Grande, Argentina. Also, complementary observations that include sequences of all-sky images of the OI 777.4 and 630.0 nm emissions observed at El Leoncito, Argentina, on the nights of 28-29 (geomagnetically quiet night) and 29-30 (geomagnetically disturbed night) October 2003, and ion densities observed in the South American sector by the DMSP F13, F14 and F15 satellites orbiting at about 800 km on 29 and 30 October 2003 are presented. In addition, global TEC maps derived from GPS observations collected from the global GPS network of International GPS Service (IGS) are presented, showing widespread and drastic TEC changes during the different phases of the geomagnetic disturbances.The observations indicate that the equatorial ionospheric irregularities or plasma bubbles extend to the Argentinean station Rawson (geom. Lat. 33.1 S) and map at the magneticequator at an altitude of about 2500 km. (AU)

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