Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics

Super-medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbance observed at midlatitude during the geomagnetic storm on 10 November 2004



[1] Medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MSTIDs) whose peak-to-peak amplitude was larger than 20 TECU (=1016el/m2) were observed at midlatitude during the geomagnetic storm on 10 November 2004. This amplitude was more than 10 times larger than that of the average MSTID. High-resolution data of the GPS Earth Observation Network (GEONET) clarified the characteristic of the total electron content (TEC) disturbances over Japan on 10 November 2004. The disturbances started around 1000 UT in the central part of Japan. The maximum of TEC temporal change was 7.2 TECU in 30 s. The disturbances had several wave fronts which extended from northwest to southeast and propagated from northeast to southwest. TEC data around Japan revealed that the disturbances were mainly observed from 18°N/S to 34°N/S of the geomagnetic latitude in the both hemispheres. Since those characteristics were similar to those of MSTIDs in spite of the unusual large amplitude, the MSTIDs are referred as “super-MSTIDs” in this paper. TEC variations of the super-MSTIDs were also observed at 460 km altitude by the GRACE satellite. The ion density fluctuations of the super-MSTIDs were observed in situ by the CHAMP and DMSP-F15 satellites, which flew at 360 km and 850 km, respectively. It is found that the plasma density variations of the super-MSTIDs occurred mainly above 360 km altitude. The characteristics that distinguish the event from plasma bubbles are its successive wave fronts, constant northwest-southeast direction along which the wave fronts stretched, and late local time of the occurrence. It is found that the uplift of the ionosphere around sunset excited the super-MSTIDs at midlatitudes. The uplift was attributed to the strong eastward electric field during the geomagnetic storm.