Origin of the interhemispheric potential mismatch of merging cells for interplanetary magnetic field By-dominated periods

Masakazu Watanabe, George J. Sofko, Konstantin Kabin, Robert Rankin, Aaron J. Ridley, C. Robert Clauer, Tamas I. Gombosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When the dawn-to-dusk component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF BY) is dominant, ionospheric convection exhibits a basic two-cell pattern with significant dawn-dusk and interhemispheric asymmetries. For IMF BY > 0 the duskside merging cell potential in the Northern Hemisphere is much higher than that in the Southern Hemisphere, and the dawnside merging cell potential in the Southern Hemisphere is much higher than that in the Northern Hemisphere. The situation is reversed for IMF BY < 0. This interhemispheric potential mismatch originates from reconnection of overdraped lobe field lines and closed flankside field lines. This type of north-south asymmetric reconnection does not affect the merging cell potentials in the same hemisphere as the reconnection point, whereas in the opposite hemisphere, it diminishes the potential of the dawnside (or duskside) Dungey-type merging cell. Thus the total dawnside (or duskside) merging cell potential in one hemisphere is smaller than that in the other hemisphere by the reconnection voltage associated with the asymmetric reconnection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA10205
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume112
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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