• ionospheric disturbance;
  • GPS;
  • TEC;
  • flare;

[1] Using the GPS data from as many as 114 GPS stations of the International GPS Service for Geodynamics (IGS), the morphological features of the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) variations on the sunlit hemisphere during the 4B solar flare on 28 October 2003 is studied. It is found that the strongest sudden increase of TEC (SITEC) happened during the flare, and the magnitudes of SITEC vary at regions with different local solar zenith angle (SZA). In the northern hemisphere, the TEC enhancement is approximately symmetrical to the local noon, and its value is usually greater than 14 TECU (1 TECU = 1016/m2) if the SZA is less than 60°. On the whole, as the SZA increases, the value of TEC enhancement in the northern hemisphere decreases. It is worth mentioning that even in the regions of SZA between 90° and 100°, the SITEC was still seen from the temporal TEC curves. Using a photochemical model, the electron production rate over the sunlit boundary region is calculated and some obvious features of SITEC over this region are analyzed. In the polar region, the effect of this flare on the ionosphere exceeds the effect of the ionospheric scintillations and it seems that the ionosphere in the northern polar region responses more sensitively to this flare. In the end, superimposed on the curves of the rate of TEC change, there are some small disturbances (spikes) synchronously appearing on all curves and thus indicating an existence of similar structures in the EUV band of the flare.