The influence of the solar wind dynamic pressure and of the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field on the magnetic storm index
The solar wind has an important impact on the Earth and its magnetic field. Among the solar wind perturbations, there can be jumps in the solar wind dynamic pressure as well as strong magnetic excursions in the z-component of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF B_(Z )). When coronal mass ejections and other solar disturbances take place in the solar wind, there can be clear changes in the global geomagnetic field, as measured by a magnetic index called Sym-H. In this thesis some unusual events were found for which there were large fluctuations either in the solar wind dynamic pressure or in the IMF B_Z but not simultaneously in both. These events suggest that the response of the geomagnetic field to the dynamic pressure fluctuations of the solar wind is variable. In particular, it was found that the earthward component (x-component) of the IMF appeared to influence the magnitude of the Sym-H response. By contrast, there was no visible impact of the y-component of the IMF. In a second exceptional event it was found that the IMF was changing substantially while the solar wind dynamic pressure remained very constant. From this study a time delay between the IMF B_Z component and the resulting Sym-H was found to be of the order of 60 to 90 minutes.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentPhysics and Engineering Physics
SupervisorSt-mourice, Jean P.
CommitteePywell, Rob; Bourassa, Adam; Merriam, Jim
Copyright DateMarch 2014
z-component of IMF
Sym-H, solar wind dynamic pressure