Features of the interaction of interplanetary coronal mass ejections/magnetic clouds with the Earth's magnetosphere


The interaction of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and magnetic clouds (MCs) with the Earth's magnetosphere exhibits various interesting features principally due to interplanetary parameters which change slowly and reach extreme values of long duration. These, in turn, allow us to explore the geomagnetic response to continued and extreme driving of the magnetosphere. In this paper we shall discuss elements of the following: (i) anomalous features of the flow in the terrestrial magnetosheath during ICME/MC passage and (ii) large geomagnetic disturbances when total or partial mergers of ICMEs/MCs pass Earth. In (i) we emphasize two roles played by the upstream Alfvén Mach number in solar wind–magnetosphere interactions: (i) It gives rise to wide plasma depletion layers. (ii) It enhances the magnetosheath flow speed on draped magnetic field lines. (By plasma depletion layer we mean a magnetosheath region adjacent to the magnetopause where magnetic forces dominate over hydrodynamic forces.) In (ii) we stress that the ICME mergers elicit geoeffects over and above those of the individual members. In addition, features of the non-linear behavior of the magnetosphere manifest themselves.

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Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics



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