Quasi-biennial oscillations in the geomagnetic field: Their global characteristics and origin

Jiaming Ou, Aimin Du, Chris Finlay

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Abstract

Quasi-biennial oscillations (QBOs), with periods in the range 1–3 years, have been persistently observed in the geomagnetic field. They provide unique information on the mechanisms by which magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems are modulated on interannual timescales and are also of crucial importance in studies of rapid core field variations. In this paper, we document the global characteristics of the geomagnetic QBO, using ground-based data collected by geomagnetic observatories between 1985 and 2010, and reexamine the origin of the signals. Fast Fourier transform analysis of second-order derivatives of the geomagnetic X, Y, and Z components reveals salient QBO signals at periods of 1.3, 1.7, 2.2, 2.9, and 5.0 years, with the most prominent peak at 2.2 years. The signature of geomagnetic QBO is generally stronger in the X and Z components and with larger amplitudes on geomagnetically disturbed days. The amplitude of the QBO in the X component decreases from the equator to the poles, then shows a local maximum at subauroral and auroral zones. The QBO in the Z component enhances from low latitudes toward the polar regions. At high latitudes (poleward of 50°) the geomagnetic QBO exhibits stronger amplitudes during LT 00:00–06:00, depending strongly on the geomagnetic activity level, while at low latitudes the main effect is in the afternoon sector. These results indicate that the QBOs at low-to-middle latitudes and at high latitudes are influenced by different magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems. The characteristics of the multiple peaks in the QBO range are found to display similar latitudinal and local time distributions, suggesting that these oscillations are derived from a common source. The features, including the strong amplitudes seen on disturbed days and during postmidnight sectors, and the results from spherical harmonic analysis, verify that the majority of geomagnetic QBO is of external origin. We furthermore find a very high correlation between the geomagnetic QBO and the QBOs in solar wind speed and solar wind dynamic pressure. This suggests the geomagnetic QBO primarily originates from the current systems due to the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume122
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)5043-5058
Number of pages16
ISSN2169-9380
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Cite this

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title = "Quasi-biennial oscillations in the geomagnetic field: Their global characteristics and origin",
abstract = "Quasi-biennial oscillations (QBOs), with periods in the range 1–3 years, have been persistently observed in the geomagnetic field. They provide unique information on the mechanisms by which magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems are modulated on interannual timescales and are also of crucial importance in studies of rapid core field variations. In this paper, we document the global characteristics of the geomagnetic QBO, using ground-based data collected by geomagnetic observatories between 1985 and 2010, and reexamine the origin of the signals. Fast Fourier transform analysis of second-order derivatives of the geomagnetic X, Y, and Z components reveals salient QBO signals at periods of 1.3, 1.7, 2.2, 2.9, and 5.0 years, with the most prominent peak at 2.2 years. The signature of geomagnetic QBO is generally stronger in the X and Z components and with larger amplitudes on geomagnetically disturbed days. The amplitude of the QBO in the X component decreases from the equator to the poles, then shows a local maximum at subauroral and auroral zones. The QBO in the Z component enhances from low latitudes toward the polar regions. At high latitudes (poleward of 50°) the geomagnetic QBO exhibits stronger amplitudes during LT 00:00–06:00, depending strongly on the geomagnetic activity level, while at low latitudes the main effect is in the afternoon sector. These results indicate that the QBOs at low-to-middle latitudes and at high latitudes are influenced by different magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems. The characteristics of the multiple peaks in the QBO range are found to display similar latitudinal and local time distributions, suggesting that these oscillations are derived from a common source. The features, including the strong amplitudes seen on disturbed days and during postmidnight sectors, and the results from spherical harmonic analysis, verify that the majority of geomagnetic QBO is of external origin. We furthermore find a very high correlation between the geomagnetic QBO and the QBOs in solar wind speed and solar wind dynamic pressure. This suggests the geomagnetic QBO primarily originates from the current systems due to the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling process.",
author = "Jiaming Ou and Aimin Du and Chris Finlay",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1002/2016JA023292",
language = "English",
volume = "122",
pages = "5043--5058",
journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research",
issn = "0148-0227",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "5",

}

Quasi-biennial oscillations in the geomagnetic field: Their global characteristics and origin. / Ou, Jiaming; Du, Aimin; Finlay, Chris.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 122, No. 5, 2017, p. 5043-5058.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Quasi-biennial oscillations in the geomagnetic field: Their global characteristics and origin

AU - Ou, Jiaming

AU - Du, Aimin

AU - Finlay, Chris

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Quasi-biennial oscillations (QBOs), with periods in the range 1–3 years, have been persistently observed in the geomagnetic field. They provide unique information on the mechanisms by which magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems are modulated on interannual timescales and are also of crucial importance in studies of rapid core field variations. In this paper, we document the global characteristics of the geomagnetic QBO, using ground-based data collected by geomagnetic observatories between 1985 and 2010, and reexamine the origin of the signals. Fast Fourier transform analysis of second-order derivatives of the geomagnetic X, Y, and Z components reveals salient QBO signals at periods of 1.3, 1.7, 2.2, 2.9, and 5.0 years, with the most prominent peak at 2.2 years. The signature of geomagnetic QBO is generally stronger in the X and Z components and with larger amplitudes on geomagnetically disturbed days. The amplitude of the QBO in the X component decreases from the equator to the poles, then shows a local maximum at subauroral and auroral zones. The QBO in the Z component enhances from low latitudes toward the polar regions. At high latitudes (poleward of 50°) the geomagnetic QBO exhibits stronger amplitudes during LT 00:00–06:00, depending strongly on the geomagnetic activity level, while at low latitudes the main effect is in the afternoon sector. These results indicate that the QBOs at low-to-middle latitudes and at high latitudes are influenced by different magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems. The characteristics of the multiple peaks in the QBO range are found to display similar latitudinal and local time distributions, suggesting that these oscillations are derived from a common source. The features, including the strong amplitudes seen on disturbed days and during postmidnight sectors, and the results from spherical harmonic analysis, verify that the majority of geomagnetic QBO is of external origin. We furthermore find a very high correlation between the geomagnetic QBO and the QBOs in solar wind speed and solar wind dynamic pressure. This suggests the geomagnetic QBO primarily originates from the current systems due to the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling process.

AB - Quasi-biennial oscillations (QBOs), with periods in the range 1–3 years, have been persistently observed in the geomagnetic field. They provide unique information on the mechanisms by which magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems are modulated on interannual timescales and are also of crucial importance in studies of rapid core field variations. In this paper, we document the global characteristics of the geomagnetic QBO, using ground-based data collected by geomagnetic observatories between 1985 and 2010, and reexamine the origin of the signals. Fast Fourier transform analysis of second-order derivatives of the geomagnetic X, Y, and Z components reveals salient QBO signals at periods of 1.3, 1.7, 2.2, 2.9, and 5.0 years, with the most prominent peak at 2.2 years. The signature of geomagnetic QBO is generally stronger in the X and Z components and with larger amplitudes on geomagnetically disturbed days. The amplitude of the QBO in the X component decreases from the equator to the poles, then shows a local maximum at subauroral and auroral zones. The QBO in the Z component enhances from low latitudes toward the polar regions. At high latitudes (poleward of 50°) the geomagnetic QBO exhibits stronger amplitudes during LT 00:00–06:00, depending strongly on the geomagnetic activity level, while at low latitudes the main effect is in the afternoon sector. These results indicate that the QBOs at low-to-middle latitudes and at high latitudes are influenced by different magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems. The characteristics of the multiple peaks in the QBO range are found to display similar latitudinal and local time distributions, suggesting that these oscillations are derived from a common source. The features, including the strong amplitudes seen on disturbed days and during postmidnight sectors, and the results from spherical harmonic analysis, verify that the majority of geomagnetic QBO is of external origin. We furthermore find a very high correlation between the geomagnetic QBO and the QBOs in solar wind speed and solar wind dynamic pressure. This suggests the geomagnetic QBO primarily originates from the current systems due to the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling process.

U2 - 10.1002/2016JA023292

DO - 10.1002/2016JA023292

M3 - Journal article

VL - 122

SP - 5043

EP - 5058

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research

SN - 0148-0227

IS - 5

ER -