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Northern and Southern Hemisphere Polar Cap Indices: to what extent do they agree and to what extent should they agree?

Lockwood, M. ORCID: (2023) Northern and Southern Hemisphere Polar Cap Indices: to what extent do they agree and to what extent should they agree? Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 128 (7). e2023JA031464. ISSN 2169-9380

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2023JA031464


The IAGA-endorsed Polar Cap Indices for the northern and southern hemispheres, PCN and PCS , are compared for 1998-2018, inclusive. Potential effects of the slightly-different, and changing, magnetic coordinates of the two magnetic stations employed, Thule (Qaanaaq) in Greenland and Vostok in Antarctica, are investigated. It is shown that the agreement in overall behaviour of the two indices is very close indeed but that PCS consistently correlates slightly better with solar wind parameters than PCN . Optimum lags for these correlations are 19 min for 1-min data and 37 min for hourly averages. The correlations are significantly highest for the predicted magnetopause reconnection voltage, which is a linear predictor of PCN and PCS for all 1-hour data and for all but the largest 0.1{\% of 1-min values. The indices show lower correlation and marked non-linearity (tending to saturation) at all levels with the estimated magnetopause reconnection electric field or the estimated power input into the magnetosphere. The PCN index is shown to correlate closely with the transpolar voltage measured by the northern-hemisphere SuperDARN radar network and both PCN and PCS clearly show the Russell-McPherron effect of dipole tilt and the Y-component of the interplanetary magnetic field. However the patterns in time-of-year and Universal Time ( UT ) are complicated by lobe reconnection during northward-IMF, the effect of which on the indices is shown to be predominantly a summer hemisphere phenomenon and gives a UT dependence on the IMF Y-component that is predicted theoretically.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:112379
Publisher:Wiley (via American Geophysical Union)


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