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  • Letter
  • Open Access

Observation of large-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances of auroral origin by global GPS networks

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 1
Earth, Planets and Space201452:BF03352261

  • Received: 17 January 2000
  • Accepted: 18 May 2000
  • Published:


The intention in this paper is to investigate the form and dynamics of large-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (LS TIDs) of auroral origin. We have devised a technique for determining LS TID parameters using GPS arrays whose elements can be selected from a large set of GPS stations forming part of the international GPS network. The method was used to determine LS TID parameters during a strong magnetic storm of September 25, 1998. The North-American sector where many GPS stations are available, and also the time interval 00:00–06:00 UT characterized by a maximum value of the derivative Dst were used in the analysis. The study revealed that this period of time was concurrent with the formation of the main ionospheric trough (MIT) with a conspicuous southward wall in the range of geographic latitudes 50–60° and the front width of no less than 7500 km. The auroral disturbance-induced large-scale solitary wave with a duration of about 1 hour and the front width of at least 3700 km propagated in the equatorward direction to a distance of no less than 2000–3000 km with the mean velocity of about 300 m/s. The wave front behaved as if it ‘curled’ to the west in longitude where the local time was around noon. Going toward the local nighttime, the propagation direction progressively approximated an equatorward direction.


  • Ionospheric Disturbance
  • Auroral Zone
  • Atmospheric Gravity Wave
  • Strong Magnetic Storm
  • Main Ionospheric Trough