Two components of ionospheric plasma structuring at midlatitudes observed during the large magnetic storm of October 30, 2003



[1] We consider VHF amplitude scintillations, GPS phase fluctuations, ionosonde measurements, maps of GPS total electron content (TEC), observations of daytime aurora and TIMED GUVI images during the large magnetic storms of October 29–31, 2003, and find two distinct classes of plasma processes that produce midlatitude ionospheric irregularities. One is associated with auroral plasma processes; the other, with storm enhanced density (SED) gradients, a part of which occur in close proximity to sub-auroral polarization stream (SAPS) electric fields as discussed by J. C. Foster et al. (2002). We analyze in detail the storm event of October 30, 2003. The SAPS-associated plasma structures may occur by an ion temperature gradient convective instability (M. J. Keskinen et al., 2004), but structuring by auroral processes requires elucidation.