Articles | Volume 32, issue 4
Regular paper
11 Apr 2014
Regular paper |  | 11 Apr 2014

Reconstruction of geomagnetic activity and near-Earth interplanetary conditions over the past 167 yr – Part 4: Near-Earth solar wind speed, IMF, and open solar flux

M. Lockwood, H. Nevanlinna, L. Barnard, M. J. Owens, R. G. Harrison, A. P. Rouillard, and C. J. Scott

Abstract. In the concluding paper of this tetralogy, we here use the different geomagnetic activity indices to reconstruct the near-Earth interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and solar wind flow speed, as well as the open solar flux (OSF) from 1845 to the present day. The differences in how the various indices vary with near-Earth interplanetary parameters, which are here exploited to separate the effects of the IMF and solar wind speed, are shown to be statistically significant at the 93% level or above. Reconstructions are made using four combinations of different indices, compiled using different data and different algorithms, and the results are almost identical for all parameters. The correction to the aa index required is discussed by comparison with the Ap index from a more extensive network of mid-latitude stations. Data from the Helsinki magnetometer station is used to extend the aa index back to 1845 and the results confirmed by comparison with the nearby St Petersburg observatory. The optimum variations, using all available long-term geomagnetic indices, of the near-Earth IMF and solar wind speed, and of the open solar flux, are presented; all with ±2σ uncertainties computed using the Monte Carlo technique outlined in the earlier papers. The open solar flux variation derived is shown to be very similar indeed to that obtained using the method of Lockwood et al. (1999).