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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

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
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

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.

Geomagnetic activity, Semi-annual variation, Solar wind magnetosphere coupling
Lockwood, Mike
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McWilliams, Kathryn A.
b8a0a4a1-d04f-4f13-8629-ba1d6dd5a369
Owens, Mathew J.
e9a2af67-7cbe-4608-8066-1cb2e3327f20
Barnard, Luke A.
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Watt, Clare E.
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Scott, Chris J.
9bc48680-80af-4b3b-aef6-07f776d6d112
MacNeil, Allan R.
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Coxon, John C.
566baea5-6a30-4855-bde3-a09c115efde4
Lockwood, Mike
d4b01615-f1c3-4fef-9e54-afaa976c3584
McWilliams, Kathryn A.
b8a0a4a1-d04f-4f13-8629-ba1d6dd5a369
Owens, Mathew J.
e9a2af67-7cbe-4608-8066-1cb2e3327f20
Barnard, Luke A.
d150ac0a-6659-4190-9080-b084579687ef
Watt, Clare E.
4c90948c-44b1-4e2d-9b20-39504035ceab
Scott, Chris J.
9bc48680-80af-4b3b-aef6-07f776d6d112
MacNeil, Allan R.
745a3f54-3a02-4292-85e8-3cb32770300e
Coxon, John C.
566baea5-6a30-4855-bde3-a09c115efde4

Lockwood, Mike, McWilliams, Kathryn A., Owens, Mathew J., Barnard, Luke A., Watt, Clare E., Scott, Chris J., MacNeil, Allan R. and Coxon, John C. (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. Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, 10, [30]. (doi:10.1051/swsc/2020033).

Record type: Article

Abstract

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.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 June 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 July 2020
Keywords: Geomagnetic activity, Semi-annual variation, Solar wind magnetosphere coupling

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444401
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444401
PURE UUID: 6864f605-dcb8-47f9-863e-2961f12c6153
ORCID for John C. Coxon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0166-6854

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Date deposited: 16 Oct 2020 16:31
Last modified: 19 Oct 2020 16:34

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Contributors

Author: Mike Lockwood
Author: Kathryn A. McWilliams
Author: Mathew J. Owens
Author: Luke A. Barnard
Author: Clare E. Watt
Author: Chris J. Scott
Author: Allan R. MacNeil
Author: John C. Coxon ORCID iD

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