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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 24, issue 3
Ann. Geophys., 24, 961–972, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-961-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 24, 961–972, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-961-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  19 May 2006

19 May 2006

A numerical model of the ionospheric signatures of time-varying magnetic reconnection: III. Quasi-instantaneous convection responses in the Cowley-Lockwood paradigm

S. K. Morley1,* and M. Lockwood2 S. K. Morley and M. Lockwood
  • 1School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, UK
  • *also at: CRC for Satellite Systems, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  • 2Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Oxfordshire, UK

Abstract. Using a numerical implementation of the cowlock92 model of flow excitation in the magnetosphere-ionosphere (MI) system, we show that both an expanding (on a ~12-min timescale) and a quasi-instantaneous response in ionospheric convection to the onset of magnetopause reconnection can be accommodated by the Cowley-Lockwood conceptual framework. This model has a key feature of time dependence, necessarily considering the history of the coupled MI system. We show that a residual flow, driven by prior magnetopause reconnection, can produce a quasi-instantaneous global ionospheric convection response; perturbations from an equilibrium state may also be present from tail reconnection, which will superpose constructively to give a similar effect. On the other hand, when the MI system is relatively free of pre-existing flow, we can most clearly see the expanding nature of the response. As the open-closed field line boundary will frequently be in motion from such prior reconnection (both at the dayside magnetopause and in the cross-tail current sheet), it is expected that there will usually be some level of combined response to dayside reconnection.

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