Features of Magnetic Field Fluctuations in the Ionosphere at Swarm altitude

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



The magnetosphere−ionosphere system is recognized as a complex and active element affected by space weather and as a region where important scientific questions related to space weather impacts need to be answered. In this framework, there is a high priority on the un− derstanding of how local, regional, and global−scale phenomena couple to produce observed responses across various scales. Turbulence provides one pathway by which energy cascades across scales from large to small ones where energy can be dissipated in the form of heat− ing. The Swarm mission, that is a true multi−point and multi−purpose constellation, represents a unique opportunity to address some of these scientific questions. 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 of ionospheric 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 in− sights about the ionosphere−magnetosphere coupling and to provide information on the ionospheric turbulence. Here, we improve and ex− tend 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