Features of Magnetic Field Fluctuations in the Ionosphere at Swarm altitude

Paola De Michelis, Giuseppe Consolini, Roberta Tozzi, Fabio Giannattasio, Virgilio Quattrociocchi, Igino Coco


Themagnetosphere-ionosphere system is recognized as a complex and active element affected byspace weather and as a region where important scientificquestions related to space weather impacts need to be answered. In this framework, there is a high priority onthe understanding of how local, regional, and global-scale phenomena couple to produce observed responses across variousscales. Turbulence provides one pathway by which energy cascades across scales from large to small ones where energy can be dissipated in the form of heating. The Swarm mission, that is a true multi-point and multi-purpose constellation, represents a unique opportunity to address some of these scientificquestions. In detail, it gives us a chance of investigating the nature and the scaling features of magnetic field fluctuations for different geomagnetic activity levels, and unveiling the role played by turbulence ofionospheric plasma medium on the magnetic field fluctuations. Recently, using Swarm magnetic field data at high-latitude in the Northern Hemisphere, the local scaling indices of the 1st and 2nd order structure functions of the magnetic field fluctuations have been evaluated, showing their capability both to give new insights about the ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling and to provide information on the ionospheric turbulence. Here, we improve and extend the analysis by investigating the scaling features of the geomagnetic field fluctuations of external origin, recorded by Swarm A satellite during a period of 2 years (April 2014–March 2016). Maps of the local Hurst exponent values, which allow us to study scaling properties of the geomagnetic field’s spatial fluctuations are shown, both at high-latitudes (in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere) and at low- and mid-latitudes (60°) according to two different geomagnetic activity conditions. The aim is to capture the essential features of the spatial fluctuations of the geomagnetic field and understand their origins.


Ionosphere; Turbulence; Sun-Earth Relationship

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-7789
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X