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Equatorial electricfields during magnetically disturbed conditions, 1. The effect of the interplanetary magneticfield
Journal of Geophysical Research (1979)
  • Bela G. Fejer, Utah State University
  • C. A. Gonzales
  • D. T. Farley
  • M. C. Kelley
  • R. F. Woodman
Radar measurements of E and F region drift velocities have been used to look for correlations between changes in equatorial electric fields and the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The east-west component of the IMF appears to be unimportant, but the north-south component has some effect; rapid reversals from south to north are sometimes correlated with reversals of the equatorial east-west electric field during both daytime and nighttime. This is not always true, however, the IMF may reverse without any apparent effect at the equator. Furthermore, large equatorial field perturbations are sometimes observed when the IMF Bz is large and southward but not varying drastically. In this latter case the equatorial perturbations start nearly simultaneously with the onset of auroral substorms, while in the previous case they usually correlate with the onset of the substorm recovery phase. These observations indicate that the IMF does not affect the equatorial electric fields directly. Rather, it is changes in the magnetospheric electric fields and the auroral zone electric field and conductivity distribution (which may or may not be triggered by IMF changes) which alter the worldwide ionospheric current flow and electric field pattern, of which the equatorial observations are an indication.
  • equator,
  • electric,
  • field,
  • magnetic,
  • disturbed,
  • conditions,
  • interplanetary
Publication Date
September 20, 1979
Publisher Statement
Published by Wiley Online Library DOI:10.1029/JA084iA10p05797
Citation Information
Fejer, B. G., C. A. Gonzales, D. T. Farley, M. C. Kelley, and R. F. Woodman, Equatorial electric fields during magnetically disturbed conditions, 1. The effect of the interplanetary magnetic field, J. Geophys. Res., 84, 5797, 1979.