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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 22, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 22, 73–91, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-22-73-2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 22, 73–91, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-22-73-2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  01 Jan 2004

01 Jan 2004

A numerical model of the ionospheric signatures of time-varying magneticreconnection: I. ionospheric convection

M. Lockwood2,1 and S. K. Morley2 M. Lockwood and S. K. Morley
  • 1Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Oxfordshire, UK
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton, Hampshire, UK

Abstract. This paper presents a numerical model for predicting the evolution of the pattern of ionospheric convection in response to general time-dependent magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause and in the cross-tail current sheet of the geomagnetic tail. The model quantifies the concepts of ionospheric flow excitation by Cowley and Lockwood (1992), assuming a uniform spatial distribution of ionospheric conductivity. The model is demonstrated using an example in which travelling reconnection pulses commence near noon and then move across the dayside magnetopause towards both dawn and dusk. Two such pulses, 8min apart, are used and each causes the reconnection to be active for 1min at every MLT that they pass over. This example demonstrates how the convection response to a given change in the interplanetary magnetic field (via the reconnection rate) depends on the previous reconnection history. The causes of this effect are explained. The inherent assumptions and the potential applications of the model are discussed.

Key words. Ionosphere (ionosphere-magnetosphere interactions; plasma convection) – Magnetospheric physics (magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions; solar wind-magnetosphere interactions)

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