The effect of induced currents in the sea on magnetic bays observed at a coastal observatory

It is widely accepted that return currents from the auroral electrojet are responsible for the magnetic bays in the D component. The different directions of the return currents, at either end of the electrojet, means that the sign of the D bay should change as the station moves from east to west of the central meridian of the electrojet. However, there is confusion as to whether this change occurs, giving rise to different models for the substorm current system. The possible effect of induced currents on magnetic bays is shown to be significant and should be examined for each observatory before using their magnetic bays to infer substorm current systems. An analysis of magnetic bays at Halley Bay (75°S, 27°W), a coastal site in Antarctica, shows that a change in the sign of D bays does not occur. It is shown that induced currents flowing in the sea, parallel to the coast, would have an effect that is consistent with the observations.


Publication status:
Authors: Boteler, D.H

1 January, 1978
Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics / 40
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