Solar Physics

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 259–269

On the possibility of deducing interplanetary and solar parameters from geomagnetic records

  • C. T. Russell

DOI: 10.1007/BF00153301

Cite this article as:
Russell, C.T. Sol Phys (1975) 42: 259. doi:10.1007/BF00153301


While at present we are able to deduce from ground records only qualitative properties of the solar wind, in the future quantitative deductions may be possible, in a statistical sense, from an examination of polar cap magnetograms together with records of geomagnetic activity. The qualitative inferences that are possible now indicate several important features of the behavior of the solar wind over the last 100 years. First, there appear to be significant long term changes in either the solar wind velocity, the magnetic field strength, the variability of the field or some combination of all three. Second, a heliographic latitude dependence of these parameters exists, whose amplitude depends on sunspot number. Third, with the exception of the most recent solar cycle, there is little north-south asymmetry in these solar parameters. Finally, there is a double sunspot cycle modulation of geomagnetic activity, the most likely cause of which is a modulation of the interplanetary magnetic polarity with latitude, and which in turn implies the presence of a solar polar magnetic dipole. The amplitude of this modulation has undergone significant changes since 1868, being large then and at the present, but effectively disappearing from 1908 to 1948.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. T. Russell
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of CaliforniaLos AngelesU.S.A.