We compare the SuperDARN convection patterns with the predictions of a new numerical model of the global distribution of ionospheric electric potentials. The model utilizes high-precision statistical maps of field-aligned currents (FAC) derived from measurements made by polar-orbiting low-altitude satellites. Both the solar and auroral precipitation contributions are included in order to derive the ionospheric conductance. Taking into account the electrodynamic coupling of the opposite hemispheres, the model allows one to obtain the convection patterns developed simultaneously in both hemispheres for given input parameters. SuperDARN, with its database containing global northern and southern convection maps, provides the unique opportunity to compare the model predictions of electric fields with observations. In the present study we focus on the effect of significant interhemispheric asymmetry governed by the IMF clock angle and solar zenith angle. We calculate the convection patterns for specific cases caused by the sign of By and season and demonstrate the capability of the FAC-based model reproduce the radar observations. The simulation confirms that the solar zenith angle should be linked to the IMF clock angle to fully characterize the convection patterns. The model predicts that the cross-polar cap potential drop is regularly larger in the winter hemisphere than in the summer hemisphere.
|Journal||Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
- Field-aligned currents