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Time-dependence of dawn-dusk asymmetries in the terrestrial ionospheric convection pattern

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Publication date6/10/2017
Host publicationDawn-Dusk Asymmetry in Planetary Plasma Environments
EditorsStein Haarland, Andrei Runov, Colin Forsyth
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
ISBN (Electronic)9781119216346
ISBN (Print)9781119216322
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union


In this chapter we consider the nature and origin of dawn-dusk asymmetries in the ionospheric convection pattern. We focus on asymmetries that are introduced via solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) has a strong dawn-dusk component. In particular, we address the interplay between flows that are “directly driven” by dayside coupling processes and those driven over a variety of longer timescales by internal magnetospheric dynamics. This produces variability in the ionospheric convection and leads to an inherent time dependence in the development of dawn-dusk asymmetries. Our discussion focuses on the interpretation of observations made by the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), which has provided measurements of the two-dimensional ionospheric convection pattern at 1 or 2 min resolution for the last two decades. We summarize the current state of understanding in this area and discuss unanswered questions.