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Title: Solar cycle variations in polar cap area measured by the superDARN radars
Authors: Imber, Suzanne, M.
Milan, Steve, E.
Lester, Mark
First Published: 1-Oct-2013
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Citation: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2013, 118 (10), pp. 6188-6196
Abstract: We present a long-term study, from January 1996 to August 2012, of the latitude of the Heppner-Maynard Boundary (HMB) measured at midnight using the northern hemisphere Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN). The HMB represents the equatorward extent of ionospheric convection and is used in this study as a measure of the global magnetospheric dynamics. We find that the yearly distribution of HMB latitudes is single peaked at 64° magnetic latitude for the majority of the 17 year interval. During 2003, the envelope of the distribution shifts to lower latitudes and a second peak in the distribution is observed at 61°. The solar wind-magnetosphere coupling function derived by Milan et al. (2012) suggests that the solar wind driving during this year was significantly higher than during the rest of the 17 year interval. In contrast, during the period 2008–2011, HMB distribution shifts to higher latitudes, and a second peak in the distribution is again observed, this time at 68° magnetic latitude. This time interval corresponds to a period of extremely low solar wind driving during the recent extreme solar minimum. This is the first long-term study of the polar cap area and the results demonstrate that there is a close relationship between the solar activity cycle and the area of the polar cap on a large-scale, statistical basis.
DOI Link: 10.1002/jgra.50509
ISSN: 2169-9380
eISSN: 2169-9402
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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