loading page

Conductance in the Aurora: Influence of Magnetospheric Contributors
  • +4
  • Agnit Mukhopadhyay,
  • Daniel Welling,
  • Meghan Burleigh,
  • Aaron Ridley,
  • Michael Liemohn,
  • Brian Anderson,
  • Jesper Gjerloev
Agnit Mukhopadhyay
University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Corresponding Author:agnitm@umich.edu

Author Profile
Daniel Welling
University of Michigan
Author Profile
Meghan Burleigh
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Author Profile
Aaron Ridley
Univ Michigan
Author Profile
Michael Liemohn
University of Michigan
Author Profile
Brian Anderson
Johns Hopkins Univ
Author Profile
Jesper Gjerloev
Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory
Author Profile


Estimation of the ionospheric conductance is a crucial step in coupling the magnetosphere & ionosphere (MI). Since the high-latitude ionosphere closes magnetospheric currents, conductance in this region is pivotal to examine & predict MI coupling dynamics, especially during extreme events. In spite of its importance, only recently have impacts of key magnetospheric & ionospheric contributors affecting auroral conductance (e.g., particle distribution, ring current, anomalous heating, etc.) been explored using global models. Addressing these uncertainties require new capabilities in global magnetosphere - ionosphere - thermosphere models, in order to self-consistently obtain the multi-scale, dynamic sources of conductance. This work presents the new MAGNetosphere - Ionosphere - Thermosphere (MAGNIT) auroral conductance model, which delivers the requisite capabilities to fully explore the sources of conductance & their impacts. MAGNIT has been integrated into the Space Weather Modeling Framework to couple dynamically with the BATSRUS magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model, the Rice Convection Model (RCM) of the ring current, the Ridley Ionosphere Model (RIM) & the Global Ionosphere Thermosphere Model (GITM). This new model is used to address the precise impact of diverse conductance contributors during geomagnetic events. First, the coupled MHD-RIM-MAGNIT model is used to establish diffuse & discrete precipitation using kinetic theory. The key innovation is to include the capability of using distinct particle distribution functions (PDF) in a global model: in this study, we explore precipitation fluxes estimated using isotropic Maxwellian & Kappa PDFs. RCM is then included to investigate the effect of the ring current. Precipitating flux computed on closed field lines by RCM is compared against MAGNIT results, to show that expected results are alike. Lastly, GITM is coupled to study the impact of the ionosphere thermosphere system. Using the MAGNIT model, aforementioned conductance sources are progressively applied in idealized simulations & compared against the OVATION Prime Model. Finally, data-model comparisons against SSUSI, AMPERE & SuperMAG measurements during the March 17, 2013 Storm are shown. Results show remarkable progress of conductance modeling & MI coupling layouts in global models.