Articles | Volume 27, issue 10
05 Oct 2009
 | 05 Oct 2009

On the SuperDARN cross polar cap potential saturation effect

A. V. Koustov, G. Ya. Khachikjan, R. A. Makarevich, and C. Bryant

Abstract. Variation of the cross polar cap potential (CPCP) with the interplanetary electric field (IEF), the merging electric field EKL, the Polar Cap North (PCN) magnetic index, and the solar wind-magnetosphere coupling function EC of Newell et al. (2007) is investigated by considering convection data collected by the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter and summer observations are considered separately. All variations considered show close to linear trend at small values of the parameters and tendency for the saturation at large values. The threshold values starting from which the non-linearity was evident were estimated to be IEF*~EKL*~3 mV/m, PCN*~3–4, and EC*~1.5×104. The data indicate that saturation starts at larger values of the above parameters and reaches larger (up to 10 kV) saturation levels during summer. Conclusions are supported by a limited data set of simultaneous SuperDARN observations in the Northern (summer) and Southern (winter) Hemispheres. It is argued that the SuperDARN CPCP saturation levels and the thresholds for the non-linearity to be seen are affected by the method of the CPCP estimates.