EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

How does the Ionosphere Drive the Magnetospheric Processes?

Tuija Pulkkinen1, Shannon Hill1, Austin Brenner1,2, Qusai Al Shidi1, and Gabor Toth1
Tuija Pulkkinen et al.
  • 1University of Michigan, Department of Climate and Space Science and Engineering, Ann Arbor, United States of America (
  • 2University of Michigan, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Ann Arbor, United States of America

Solar wind – magnetosphere – ionosphere interactions are often interpreted as the solar wind flow and interplanetary magnetic field driving the dynamic processes in the magnetosphere – ionosphere system. However, the atmosphere and the ionosphere host independent dynamic processes, which also influence the magnetospheric dynamics in as yet unquantified ways. In this study, we assess the ability of the global MHD simulations to predict geomagnetic indices, and the role the ionospheric conductance plays in the magnetosphere – ionosphere coupling processes. Specifically, we use the University of Michigan Space Weather Modeling Framework and its Geospace configuration in two different setups: one using the standard Ridley Ionosphere Model (setup similar to that operationally used by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center) and another using the  Conductance Model for Extreme Events (CMEE). Comparing the model results for subsolar magnetopause position, AL, Dst, and cross-polar cap potential (CPCP) indices with observed quantities allows us to assess the role of the ionospheric conductance model as well as the overall level of uncertainty within the model as function of the driving intensity. The comparisons are done using a large set of over 80 simulations of geomagnetic storms using both setups.

How to cite: Pulkkinen, T., Hill, S., Brenner, A., Al Shidi, Q., and Toth, G.: How does the Ionosphere Drive the Magnetospheric Processes?, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8593,, 2023.