Response of the topside ionosphere over Arecibo to a moderate geomagnetic storm

Diana Prado Garzón, Christiano G.M. Brum, Ezequiel Echer, Néstor Aponte, Michael P. Sulzer, Sixto A. González, Robert B. Kerr, Lara Waldrop

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We analyze the data obtained using the Arecibo incoherent scatter radar to examine the response of the topside ionosphere to a moderate geomagnetic storm that occurred during the period March 7-11, 2008. During this time period a magnetic storm with a non-monotonic main phase decrease in the Dst index occurred. The recovery phase also exhibited a secondary Dst decrease. During the initial phase of the storm, Te and Ti increased coincident with the arrival of the solar wind. The main phase registered an increase in proton concentration proportional to Ne while temperatures reached the lowest values. Variations in O+ concentration were not significant but a reduction in helium fraction was observed. Soon after the peak of the storm, the transition height between the topside ionosphere and the protonosphere, where H+ ions dominate composition, was lower than would be expected during quiet conditions and this behavior lasted for approximately 12h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1568-1574
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Arecibo Observatory
  • Geomagnetic storm
  • Incoherent scatter radar
  • Topside ionosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science


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