Super Dual Auroral Radar Network observations of convection during a period of small-magnitude northward IMF

W. A. Bristow, J. M. Ruohoniemi, R. A. Greenwald

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Observations of the high-latitude northern hemisphere convection pattern are presented for varying small-magnitude interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions. A new data analysis technique is used which makes use of all available data from the SuperDARN network rather than only using data from the regions of overlap of radar fields of view. Using this technique, the area over which convection is determined is often greatly extended from the region of overlap. The IMF during this period was small magnitude, |B| < 4 nT. During one interval, IMF Bz was northward, while By. was nearly zero. Convection during this interval evolved to a pattern with a large dusk cell with flow across the noon meridian from dusk toward dawn. In a later interval, IMF Bz and By were both nearly zero. During this interval, convection evolved to a four-cell pattern. Comparison of the observations with conceptual models showed significant differences for both intervals. During the first interval, statistical models and the observations compared favorably. During the second interval, however, the observations showed a significantly different pattern from the first interval, while statistical models predict the same pattern for both intervals. The behavior of the convection pattern can be in part ascribed to the role played by Bx, which was the dominant IMF component throughout this interval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97JA-03168
Pages (from-to)4051-4061
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA3
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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