Solar Activity, Solar Wind and Geomagnetic Signatures

DOI: 10.4236/acs.2013.34063   PDF   HTML   XML   3,934 Downloads   5,842 Views   Citations


The present study investigates solar events through geomagnetic activity and physical processes on the Sun: 1) Quiet activity (QA) related to the slow solar wind, 2) Recurrent activity (RA) related to high and moderate speed solar wind streams from coronal holes, 3) Shock activity (SA) identified by observations of SSCs and 4) Unclear activity (UA) which contains all activity not covered by the first three cases. For recent cycles, we analyze and emphasize some important results: Quiet activity is predominant for cycle 23, comprising 40% of the total activity and over 80% of the activity near solar minimum. Shock and recurrent activity contributions to total geomagnetic activity are largest in cycle 20. The most fluctuating events are observed during cycles 21 and 22. Throughout solar cycle 23, the contribution, from each type of activity, differs from recent solar cycles, with larger percentages of quiet and recurrent activity and less unclear activity. These percentages are similar to those in solar cycles observed in the late 1800s. Since 1963, solar wind data are available. We analyze the distribution of the solar wind velocity for each geomagnetic class of activity and find that: 1) Within each activity type aa does not depend on V, 2) Approximately 80% of the solar wind has V < 450 km/s for QA and 80% of the solar wind has V > 450 km/s for RA, 3) SA and UA both have 60% of the solar wind V > 450 km/s. We found the following conditions for all four solar cycles: 1) For QA 95% of solar wind speeds are in the range 399 ± 69 km/s, 2) For RA 95% of the solar wind speeds range from 582 ± 110 km/s, 3) For SA 95% of the solar wind velocities are order of 482 ± 101.4 km/s, and 4) For UA 95% of solar wind speeds are 480 ± 85.82 km/s. These results confirm the classification scheme that QA reflects slow wind effects, RA effects high wind stream and UA answers to the fluctuations between high wind stream (~60%) and slow wind (~40%). The study shows that high wind stream (~60%) and slow wind (~40%) are both registered for SA.

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J. Zerbo, F. Ouattara, C. Mazaudier, J. Legrand and J. Richardson, "Solar Activity, Solar Wind and Geomagnetic Signatures," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 610-617. doi: 10.4236/acs.2013.34063.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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