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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 25, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 25, 495-506, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-25-495-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 25, 495-506, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-25-495-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  08 Mar 2007

08 Mar 2007

Solar wind-magnetosphere coupling functions on timescales of 1 day to 1 year

I. Finch1,* and M. Lockwood1,* I. Finch and M. Lockwood
  • 1Space Science and Technology Department, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, UK
  • *also at: School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

Abstract. There are no direct observational methods for determining the total rate at which energy is extracted from the solar wind by the magnetosphere. In the absence of such a direct measurement, alternative means of estimating the energy available to drive the magnetospheric system have been developed using different ionospheric and magnetospheric indices as proxies for energy consumption and dissipation and thus the input. The so-called coupling functions are constructed from the parameters of the interplanetary medium, as either theoretical or empirical estimates of energy transfer, and the effectiveness of these coupling functions has been evaluated in terms of their correlation with the chosen index. A number of coupling functions have been studied in the past with various criteria governing event selection and timescale. The present paper contains an exhaustive survey of the correlation between geomagnetic activity and the near-Earth solar wind and two of the planetary indices at a wide variety of timescales. Various combinations of interplanetary parameters are evaluated with careful allowance for the effects of data gaps in the interplanetary data. We show that the theoretical coupling, Pα, function first proposed by Vasyliunas et al. is superior at all timescales from 1-day to 1-year.

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