Thermospheric composition changes seen during a geomagnetic storm

A. G. Burns, T. L. Killeen, R. G. Roble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The largest magnitude winds observed using the instruments on board the Dynamics Explorer 2 (DE-2) satellite were measured during the large geomagnetic storm that occured on the 24th of November 1982. Neutral temperatures exceeded 2000 K during this strom, these high temperatures, combined with the very large observed winds and the very full instrumental coverage available in both hemispheres, make it a unique event to study. In this paper we present results obtained using these DE-2 data and a time dependent simulation of the event made using the National Center for Atmospheric Research Thermosphere/Ionosphere General Circulation Model (NCAR-TIGCM). In general, the agreement between model calcuations and the data is very good, implying that most of the important physical processes controlling the energetics and dynamics of the thermosphere are reasonably well represented in the model. The modelled summer hemisphere changes in the mass mixing ratio of N2N2) are in very good agreement with the DE-2 data, and the overall global pattern of ΨN2 in the model is also in good agreement with the averaged data in both hemispheres. This agreement allows us to study the physical processes occurring in the model with confidence that they are the same as those occuring in the "real" thermosphere. This short paper describes model-experiment comparisons for the November 24, 1982 geomagnetic storm, but does not include the processes responsible for these changes. A full description of them is available in the set of papers/1,2,3,4/.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-256
Number of pages4
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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