Modeling the ionospheric response to the 28 October 2003 solar flare due to coupling with the thermosphere

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Physics and Astronomy


The excess energy deposited into the atmosphere during a solar flare has a substantial effect on the thermosphere and ionosphere. Not only is there a significant perturbation on the dayside, but gravity waves are launched which can propagate to and effect the nightside. The ionospheric signatures of these waves and global disturbances are investigated using the Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model during the 28 October 2003 solar flare. Simulations are performed where all external forcings are held constant except for the solar extreme ultraviolet flux in order to quantify the response due only to the flare. The model shows that significant perturbations in NmF2 and total electron content can occur on the nightside, and that they can last for more than 15 h after the flare. Both significant enhancements and depletions are shown to be present in the near-midnight sector which are due to dynamical changes in the neutral atmosphere.

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