GUMICS-4 analysis of interplanetary coronal mass ejection impact on Earth during low and typical Mach number solar winds

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Researchers

Research units

  • Swedish Institute of Space Physics
  • University of Helsinki
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • University of Turku
  • University of Michigan

Abstract

We study the response of the Earth's magnetosphere to fluctuating solar wind conditions during interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) using the Grand Unified Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling Simulation (GUMICS-4). The two ICME events occurred on 15-16 July 2012 and 29-30 April 2014. During the strong 2012 event, the solar wind upstream values reached up to 35 particles cm(-3), speeds of up to 694 km s(-1), and an interplanetary magnetic field of up to 22 nT, giving a Mach number of 2.3. The 2014 event was a moderate one, with the corresponding upstream values of 30 particles cm(-3), 320 km s(-1) and 10 nT, indicating a Mach number of 5.8. We examine how the Earth's space environment dynamics evolves during both ICME events from both global and local perspectives, using well-established empirical models and in situ measurements as references. We show that on the large scale, and during moderate driving, the GUMICS-4 results are in good agreement with the reference values. However, the local values, especially during high driving, show more variation: such extreme conditions do not reproduce local measurements made deep inside the magnetosphere. The same appeared to be true when the event was run with another global simulation. The cross-polar cap potential (CPCP) saturation is shown to depend on the Alfven-Mach number of the upstream solar wind. However, care must be taken in interpreting these results, as the CPCP is also sensitive to the simulation resolution.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-579
Number of pages19
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Volume37
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • CAP POTENTIAL SATURATION, HIGH-LATITUDE, GEOMAGNETIC-ACTIVITY, PLASMA TRANSPORT, MHD SIMULATION, MAGNETOSPHERE, MODEL, SHOCK, IONOSPHERE, STORMS

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