J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 10, 2020
|Number of page(s)||24|
|Published online||16 July 2020|
Semi-annual, annual and Universal Time variations in the magnetosphere and in geomagnetic activity: 2. Response to solar wind power input and relationships with solar wind dynamic pressure and magnetospheric flux transport
Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, RG6 6BB Reading, UK
2 Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A5, Canada
3 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ Southampton, UK
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 22 June 2020
This is the second in a series of papers that investigate the semi-annual, annual and Universal Time (UT) variations in the magnetosphere. We present a varied collection of empirical results that can be used to constrain theories and modelling of these variations. An initial study of two years’ data on transpolar voltage shows that there is a semi-annual variation in magnetospheric flux circulation; however, it is not as large in amplitude as that in geomagnetic activity, consistent with the latter showing a non-linear (quadratic) variation with transpolar voltage. We find that during the persistent minimum of the UT variation in geomagnetic activity, between about 2 and 10 UT, there is also a persistent decrease in observed transpolar voltage, which may be, in part, caused by a decrease in reconnection voltage in the nightside cross-tail current sheet. We study the response of geomagnetic activity to estimated power input into the magnetosphere using interplanetary data from 1995 onwards, an interval for which the data are relatively free of data gaps. We find no consistent variation in the response delay with time-of-year F and, using the optimum lag, we show that the patterns of variation in F-year spectrograms are very similar for geomagnetic activity and power input into the magnetosphere, both for average values and for the occurrence of large events. The Russell–McPherron (R–M) mechanism is shown to be the central driver of this behaviour. However, the (R–M) effect on power input into the magnetosphere is small and there is a non-linear amplification of the semi-annual variation in the geomagnetic response, such that a very small asymmetry in power input into the magnetosphere Pα between the “favourable” and “unfavourable” polarities of the IMF BY component generates a greatly amplified geomagnetic response. The analysis strongly indicates that this amplification is associated with solar wind dynamic pressure and its role in squeezing the near-Earth tail and so modulating the storage and release of energy extracted from the solar wind. In this paper, we show that the equinoctial pattern is found in the residuals of fits of Pα to the am index and that the amplitude of these equinoctial patterns in the am fit residuals increases linearly with solar wind dynamic pressure. Similarly, the UT variation in am is also found in these fit residuals and also increases in amplitude with solar wind dynamic pressure.
Key words: geomagnetic activity / semi-annual variation / solar wind magnetosphere coupling
© M. Lockwood et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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