Articles | Volume 29, issue 8
31 Aug 2011
 | 31 Aug 2011

Identification of the IMF sector structure in near-real time by ground magnetic data

A. S. Janzhura and O. A. Troshichev

Abstract. A method is proposed to determine in near-real time the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) sector structure (SS) effect on geomagnetic data from polar cap stations. To separate the SS effect, whose polarity is invariant within an interval from some days to 2 weeks, from the disturbed solar wind effects with periodicity from minutes to hours, the daily median values of geomagnetic H (or D) component are estimated. Then the median values for 9 days preceding the current day are subjected to 3-days running averages and the interpolation procedure is applied to these smoothed averages. Comparisons of the sector structure reconstructed from the ground magnetic data with the actual variations of the GSM IMF By component measured onboard the ACE spacecraft in the summer months of 1990 and 2001 demonstrate their good agreement with coefficient of correlation R=0.96–0.97 for the H-component and R=0.93–0.95 for the D-component. The proposed simple method makes possible identification of the SS effect in the same near real-time regime as the derivation of the quiet daily curve and as level of reference for the polar cap magnetic disturbances in the calculation of the polar cap magnetic activity PC index.