A numerical model of the ionospheric signatures of time-varying magneticreconnection: I. ionospheric convection
Lockwood, M. and Morley, S. K. (2004) A numerical model of the ionospheric signatures of time-varying magneticreconnection: I. ionospheric convection. Annales Geophysicae, 22 (1). pp. 73-91. ISSN 0992-7689
To link to this article DOI: 10.5194/angeo-22-73-2004
This paper presents a numerical model for predicting the evolution of the pattern of ionospheric convection in response to general time-dependent magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause and in the cross-tail current sheet of the geomagnetic tail. The model quantifies the concepts of ionospheric flow excitation by Cowley and Lockwood (1992), assuming a uniform spatial distribution of ionospheric conductivity. The model is demonstrated using an example in which travelling reconnection pulses commence near noon and then move across the dayside magnetopause towards both dawn and dusk. Two such pulses, 8 min apart, are used and each causes the reconnection to be active for 1 min at every MLT that they pass over. This example demonstrates how the convection response to a given change in the interplanetary magnetic field (via the reconnection rate) depends on the previous reconnection history. The causes of this effect are explained. The inherent assumptions and the potential applications of the model are discussed.