Field‐Aligned Current and Polar Cap Potential and Geomagnetic Disturbances: A Review of Cross‐Correlation Analysis


Polar cap potential (PCV) is an important parameter used for determining what kind of interaction takes place between solar wind and magnetosphere. Highly energetic particles from Sun driven by solar wind constantly bombard with Earth’s magnetosphere–ionosphere system that results into a phenomenon like auroras, and major geomagnetic disturbances. Solar wind electron deposition determines the magnitude of field‐aligned current (FAC) and ultimately leads to PCV variation. Several studies found that increase in magnitude of IMF‐Bz causes an electric field of cross magnetosphere to increase, and it leads to increase in magnitude of ionospheric cross‐polar cap potential (PCV). Moreover, PCV was found to be a linear function of Vsw. In this research, we aim to study how field‐aligned current (FAC), for example, region 1 current and PCV, is related during different forms of geomagnetic disturbances. In all events, FAC and PCV are found to have corresponding fluctuations—especially at times of significant variation of IMF‐Bz (negative Bz interval) following the linearity of equation suggested by Moon in Moon (2012, We found one‐to‐one correspondence between FAC and PCV. We did CWT analysis and found that FAC and PCV have more or less same spectral behaviors for each event considered. The cross‐correlation analysis shows a high and positive correlation between FAC and PCV at 0‐min time lag for all geomagnetic activity. The CWT analysis clearly supports the result of cross correlation between FAC and PCV. We found that FAC and Vsw, FAC‐B, and FAC and AE are also positively correlated with high‐correlation coefficient at lag 0 min for all geomagnetic storm. However, FAC‐Bz, FAC‐By, and FAC‐SYM (H) have varying correlation in different events. For a particular storm and substorm, the parameters Bz and By may not necessarily be varied with FAC in regular sequence but IMF (B) always show positive correlation with FAC for all geomagnetic activity. This paper presents a clear relation between FAC and PCV. This result will help to identify some of the outstanding issues in determining the causal mechanism of PCV variation, a crucial thing to understanding the coupling between the solar wind and M‐I system.

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