Response of the total electron content at Brazilian low latitudes to corotating interaction region and high-speed streams during solar minimum 2008

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Earth, Planets and Space
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Candido C.M.N.
Batista I.S.
Klausner V.
de Siqueira Negreti P.M.
Becker-Guedes F.
de Paula E.R.
Shi J.
Correia E.S.
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© 2018, The Author(s).In this work, we investigate the Brazilian low-latitude ionospheric response to two corotating interaction regions (CIRs) and high-speed streams (HSSs) events during the solar minimum of solar cycle 23, in 2008. The studied intervals are enclosed in the whole heliospheric interval, studied by other authors, for distinct longitudinal sectors. CIRs/HSSs are structures commonly observed during the descending and low solar activity, and they are related to the occurrence of coronal holes. These events cause weak-to-moderate recurrent geomagnetic storms characterized by negative excursions of the interplanetary magnetic field, IMF_Bz, as well as long-duration auroral activity, considered as a favorable scenario for continuous prompt penetration interplanetary electric field (PPEF). In this study, we used the vertical total electron content (VTEC) calculated from GPS receivers database from the Brazilian Continuous Monitoring Network managed by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. Moreover, we analyzed the F-layer peak height, hmF2 and the critical plasma frequency, foF2, taken from a Digisonde installed at the southern crest of the equatorial ionization anomaly, in Cachoeira Paulista, CP. It was observed that during the CIRs/HSSs-driven geomagnetic disturbances VTEC increased more than 120% over the quiet times averaged values, which is comparable to intense geomagnetic storms. On the other hand, VTEC decreases were also observed during the recovery phase of the storm. Spectral analysis using gapped wavelet technique (GWT) revealed periodicities of 7, 9, 13.5 days, which are sub-harmonics of the solar rotation period, ~ 27 days. These periods in VTEC are closely associated with those observed in solar and geomagnetic indices such as Vsw, IMF_Bz and AE during CIRs/HSSs intervals. We discuss PPEF associated to IMF_Bz reconnection processes and the auroral activity as the most probable causes for the VTEC variations. These results can be of interest for studies related to space weather monitoring, modeling and forecasting, especially during low solar activity.
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