Articles | Volume 23, issue 7
14 Oct 2005
 | 14 Oct 2005

A numerical model of the ionospheric signatures of time-varying magnetic reconnection: II. Measuring expansions in the ionospheric flow response

S. K. Morley and M. Lockwood

Abstract. A numerical model embodying the concepts of the Cowley-Lockwood (Cowley and Lockwood, 1992, 1997) paradigm has been used to produce a simple Cowley-Lockwood type expanding flow pattern and to calculate the resulting change in ion temperature. Cross-correlation, fixed threshold analysis and threshold relative to peak are used to determine the phase speed of the change in convection pattern, in response to a change in applied reconnection. Each of these methods fails to fully recover the expansion of the onset of the convection response that is inherent in the simulations. The results of this study indicate that any expansion of the convection pattern will be best observed in time-series data using a threshold which is a fixed fraction of the peak response. We show that these methods used to determine the expansion velocity can be used to discriminate between the two main models for the convection response to a change in reconnection.

Keywords. Magnetospheric physics (Magnetosphereionosphere interactions) – Ionosphere (Plasma convection; Modeling and forecasting)