Effects of substorm electrojet on declination along concurrent geomagnetic latitudes in the northern auroral zone
The geomagnetic field often experiences large fluctuations, especially at high latitudes in the auroral zones. We have found, using simulations, that there are significant differences in the substorm signature, in certain coordinate systems, as a function of longitude. This is confirmed by the analysis of real, measured data from comparable locations. Large geomagnetic fluctuations pose challenges for companies involved in resource exploitation since the Earth’s magnetic field is used as the reference when navigating drilling equipment. It is widely known that geomagnetic activity increases with increasing latitude and that the largest fluctuations are caused by substorms. In the auroral zones, substorms are common phenomena, occurring almost every night. In principle, the magnitude of geomagnetic disturbances from two identical substorms along concurrent geomagnetic latitudes around the globe, at different local times, will be the same. However, the signature of a substorm will change as a function of geomagnetic longitude due to varying declination, dipole declination, and horizontal magnetic field along constant geomagnetic latitudes. To investigate and quantify this, we applied a simple substorm current wedge model in combination with a dipole rep- resentation of the Earth’s magnetic field to simulate magnetic substorms of different morphologies and local times. The results of these simulations were compared to statistical data from observatories and are discussed in the context of resource exploitation in the Arctic. We also attempt to determine and quantify areas in the auroral zone where there is a potential for increased space weather challenges compared to other areas.
Source: doi: 10.1051/swsc/2016031