Articles | Volume 34, issue 1
Regular paper
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19 Jan 2016
Regular paper | Highlight paper |  | 19 Jan 2016

Mapping of steady-state electric fields and convective drifts in geomagnetic fields – Part 2: The IGRF

A. D. M. Walker

Abstract. A method of mapping electric fields along geomagnetic field lines is applied to the IGRF (International Geomagnetic Reference Field) model. The method involves integrating additional sets of first order differential equations simultaneously with those for tracing a magnetic field line. These provide a measure of the rate of change of the separation of two magnetic field lines separated by an infinitesimal amount. From the results of the integration Faraday's law is used to compute the electric field as a function of position along the field line. Examples of computations from a software package developed to implement the method are presented. This is expected to be of use in conjugate studies of magnetospheric phenomena such as SuperDARN (Super Dual Auroral Radar) observations of convection in conjugate hemispheres, or comparison of satellite electric field observations with fields measured in the ionosphere.

Short summary
The method of electric field mapping along geomagnetic field lines, derived in an accompanying paper, is applied to the International Geomagnetic Reference Field. Formulae for the geomagnetic field gradient tensor are derived and these are used in a software package developed to map the electric field. A number of examples are presented illustrating the method. The method will be of importance in conjugate studies of ionospheric convection when the external magnetic field can be neglected.