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Impacts of Subauroral Polarization Streams on Storm-Enhanced Density and Tongue of Ionization
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  • Shuhan Li,
  • Jing Liu,
  • Wenbin Wang,
  • Jun Liang,
  • Kedeng Zhang
Shuhan Li
School of Space Science and Physics, Shandong Key Laboratory of Optical Astronomy and Solar-Terrestrial Environment, Institute of Space Sciences, Shandong University
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Jing Liu
Institute of Space Sciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Wenbin Wang
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Jun Liang
University of Calgary
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Kedeng Zhang
Wuhan University
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The influences of subauroral polarization streams (SAPS) on storm-enhanced density (SED) and tongue of ionization (TOI), an important topic in the field of magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling, however, remain undetermined. The Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIEGCM) with/without an empirical SAPS model has been used to investigate the impacts of SAPS on SED and TOI. The modeled TEC and ion drift velocities agree reasonably well with the observations of GNSS and DMSP satellites on 17 March 2013. The TIEGCM simulations show that SAPS can significantly affect the electron density of SED and TOI depending on the relative location of SAPS and SED. SAPS reduces the electron density at the eastward edge of SED where they are overlapped, and enhances SED at its westward edge. A term-by-term analysis of the O+ ion continuity equation in the F-region shows that the electron density depletions at the eastward edge of SED are mainly due to increased local plasma loss rates because of SAPS elevated plasma-neutral temperatures and O/N2 reduction because of thermosphere upwelling. The electron density enhancements in the westward edge of SED are mainly due to SAPS-induced westward plasma E×B transports and O/N2 increment because of thermospheric downwelling. Moreover, SAPS-induced electron depletions in the throat region weaken TOI as plasmas undergo anti-sunward convection into the polar cap.