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Modelled effect of solar wind speed changes. Between simulation times t of 100 min and 120 min and between 160 min and 180 min the solar wind velocity V SW was ramped up linearly. These times are marked by vertical pink lines. (a) The resulting variation in solar wind dynamic pressure, p sw. (b) The voltage placed across the magnetosphere by the solar wind flow, ΦM = V SW[B Z ]GSMΔY M, where ΔY M is the width of the magnetosphere in the Y direction of the GSM frame (here taken to be at the average X GSM of the tail reconnection X- line, X R). The green line is for ϕ = 0 and the black line for ϕ = 35°. (c) The transpolar voltages across the ionospheric polar caps. The green line is for ϕ = 0 for which the voltages across the northern and southern polar caps, [ΦPC]N and [ΦPC]S, are essentially identical. The blue and red and lines are [ΦPC]N and [ΦPC]S for ϕ = +35° (i.e., for the summer and winter hemispheres). The area between the two is shaded grey and the black line is the average of [ΦPC]N and [ΦPC]S. This colour scheme is used in all panels (d)-(f) showing equivalent parameters. (d) The reconnection efficiencies, [ΦPC]N/ΦM and [ΦPC]S/ΦM. (e) The total open magnetic fluxes in the northern and southern hemispheres [F PC]N and [F PC]S. (f) The magnetic energy stored per unit length of the tail at X GSM ≈ X R, the average X GSM of the tail reconnection X-line, [dW BX /dX]N and [dW BX /dX]S. (g). The tail current sheet reconnection voltages, ΦTX. (h) The difference in reconnection voltages for the ϕ = 0 and ϕ = 35° simulations, ΔΦ: the orange line is for the inferred reconnection voltages in the dayside magnetopause, ΔΦ = [ΦMX] ϕ=0 − [ΦMX] ϕ=35, the mauve line is for the inferred reconnection voltages in the nightside cross-tail current sheet, ΔΦ = [ΦTX] ϕ=0 − [ΦTX] ϕ=35. The vertical pink lines in panels (c)–(h) bound the solar wind velocity increases lagged by the inferred average propagation delay of 8 min. The average tail reconnection site varied between X GSM = −21 R E and X GSM = −24 R E for ϕ = 0 and at X GSM between −17 R E and −20 R E for ϕ = 35°.
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