Solar Physics

, Volume 142, Issue 2, pp 365–389 | Cite as

Periodicities of solar irradiance and solar activity indices, II

  • S. D. Bouwer


Using a dynamic power spectral analysis technique, the time-varying nature of solar periodicities is investigated for background X-ray flux, 10.7 cm flux, several indices to UV chromospheric flux, total solar irradiance, projected sunspot areas, and a sunspot blocking function. Many prior studies by a host of authors have differed over a wide range on solar periodicities. This investigation was designed to help resolve the differences by examining how periodicities change over time, and how the power spectra of solar data depend on the layer of the solar atmosphere. Using contour diagrams that show the percent of total power over time for periods ranging from 8 to 400 days, the transitory nature of solar periodicities is demonstrated, including periods at 12–14, 26–28, 51–52, and approximately 154 days. Results indicate that indices related to strong magnetic fields show the greatest variation in the number of periodicities, seldom persist for more than three solar rotations, and are highly variable in their frequency and amplitude. Periodicities found in the chromospheric indices are fewer, persist for up to 8–12 solar rotations, and are more stable in their frequency and amplitude. An additional result, found in all indices to varying degrees and related to the combined effects of solar rotation and active region evolution, is the fashion in which periodicities vary from about 20 to 36 days. I conclude that the solar data examined here are both quasi-periodic and quasistationary, with chromospheric indices showing the longest intervals of stationarity, and data representing strong magnetic fields showing the least stationarity. These results may have important implications to the results of linear statistical analysis techniques that assume stationarity, and in the interpretation of time series studies of solar variability.


Solar Irradiance Strong Magnetic Field Sunspot Area Total Solar Irradiance Solar Rotation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bai, T.: 1987a, Astrophys. J. 318, L85.Google Scholar
  2. Bai, T.: 1987b, Astrophys. J. 314, 795.Google Scholar
  3. Bai, T. and Cliver, E. W.: 1990, Astrophys. J. 363, L299.Google Scholar
  4. Barth, C. A., Tobiska, W. K., and Rottman, G. J.: 1990, Geophys. Res. Letters 17, 571.Google Scholar
  5. Bath, M.: 1974, Spectral Analysis in Geophysics, Elsevier Sci., Amsterdam, p. 125.Google Scholar
  6. Bloomfield, P.: 1976, Fourier Analysis of Time Series: An Introduction, John Wiley and Sons, New York, p. 84.Google Scholar
  7. Bogart, R. S. and Bai, T.: 1985, Astrophys. J. 299, L51.Google Scholar
  8. Bouwer, S. D.: 1983, J. Geophys. Res. 88, 7823.Google Scholar
  9. Bouwer, S. D., Donnelly, R. F., and Pap, J.: 1990, in K. H. Schatten and A. Arking (eds.), Climate Impact of Solar Variability, NASA Conf. Publ. 3086, p. 125.Google Scholar
  10. Bouwer, S. D., Donnelly, R. F., Falcon, J., Quintana, A., and Caldwell, G.: 1982, NOAA Tech. Memo ERL SEL-62, NOAA ERL, Boulder, Colorado.Google Scholar
  11. Daubechies, I.: 1990, IEEE Trans, on Info, Theory 36, 961.Google Scholar
  12. Dodson, H. W. and Hedeman, E. R.: 1970, Proceedings of Observations and Prediction of Solar Activity Conference, Am. Inst. of Aeronaut, and Astronaut., Huntsville, Alabama, p. 1368.Google Scholar
  13. Donnelly, R. F.: 1987, Solar Phys. 109, 37.Google Scholar
  14. Donnelly, R. F.: 1988, Ann. Geophys. 6, 417.Google Scholar
  15. Donnelly, R. F.: 1989, in J. Laštovička (ed.), MAP Handbook 29, 1.Google Scholar
  16. Donnelly, R. F.: 1992, in K. Cole et al. (eds.), J. Geomag. Geoelect. (in press).Google Scholar
  17. Donnelly, R. F. and Puga, L. C.: 1990, Solar Phys. 130, 369.Google Scholar
  18. Donnelly, R. F., Harvey, J. W., Heath, D. F., and Repoff, T. P.: 1985, J. Geophys. Res. 90, 6267.Google Scholar
  19. Fröhlich, C. and Pap, J.: 1989, Astron. Astrophys. 220, 272.Google Scholar
  20. Gabriel, S., Evans, R., and Feynman, J.: 1990, Solar Phys. 128, 415.Google Scholar
  21. Harvey, J. W.: 1980 in S. Sofia (ed.), Variations of the Solar Constant, NASA Conf. Publ. 2191, p. 197.Google Scholar
  22. Harvey, J. W.: 1984, in B. J. LaBonte et al., (eds.), Solar Irradiance Variations on Active Region Time Scales, NASA Conf. Publ. 2310, p. 197.Google Scholar
  23. Heath, D. F. and Schlesinger B. M.: 1986, J. Geophys. Res. 91, 8672.Google Scholar
  24. Heath, D. F., Repoff, T. P., and Donnelly, R. F.: 1984, NOAA Tech. Memo. ERL ARL-129, Air Resources Lab., NOAA ERL, Boulder, Colorado.Google Scholar
  25. Hudson, H. S.: 1988, Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 26, 473.Google Scholar
  26. Ichimoto, K., Kubota, F., Suzuki, M., Tohmura, L., and Kurokawa, H.: 1985, Nature 315, 422.Google Scholar
  27. Karlický, M.: 1977, Bull. Astron. Inst. Czech. 28, 200.Google Scholar
  28. Kile, J. N. and Cliver, E. W.: 1992, Astrophys. J. 370, 442.Google Scholar
  29. Kiplinger, A. L., Dennis, B. R., and Orwig, L. E.: 1984, Bull. Ann. Astron. Soc. 16, 891.Google Scholar
  30. Kotz, S. and Johnson, N. L. (eds.): 1983, Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences, Vol. 3, John Wiley and Sons, New York, p. 118.Google Scholar
  31. Koopmans, L. H.: 1974, The Spectral Analysis of Time Series, Academic Press, New York, p. 38.Google Scholar
  32. Lean, J. L. and Brueckner, G. E.: 1989, Astrophys. J. 337, 568.Google Scholar
  33. Lean, J. L. and Repoff, T. P.: 1987, J. Geophys. Res. 92, 5555.Google Scholar
  34. Lean, J., White, O. R., Livingston, W. C., Heath, D. F., Donnelly, R. F., and Skumanich, A.: 1982, J. Geophys. Res. 87, 10,307.Google Scholar
  35. Pap, J.: 1986, Astrophys. Space Sci. 127, 55.Google Scholar
  36. Pap, J., Tobiska, W. K., and Bouwer, S. D.: 1990, Solar Phys. 129, 65.Google Scholar
  37. Pap, J. M., Marquette, W. H., and Donnelly, R. F.: 1991, Adv. Space Res. 91, 11, 271.Google Scholar
  38. Papoulis, A.: 1977, Signal Analysis, McGraw-Hill, New York, p. 300.Google Scholar
  39. Ribes, E., Merlin, P., Ribes, J. C., and Barthalot, R.: 1989, Ann. Geophys. 7, 321.Google Scholar
  40. Rieger, E., Shane, G. H., Forrest, D. K., Kanback, G., Reppin, C, and Chupp, E. L.: 1984, Nature 312, 623.Google Scholar
  41. Tobiska, W. K. and Bouwer, S. D.: 1989, J. Geophys. Res. 16, 779.Google Scholar
  42. Wagner, W. J.: 1988, Adv. Space Res. 8(7), 67.Google Scholar
  43. Welsh, P. D.: 1967, IEEE Transactions on Audio and Electroacoustics AU-15, 70.Google Scholar
  44. Willson, R. C. and Hudson, H. S.: 1988, Nature 332, 810.Google Scholar
  45. Willson, R. C. and Hudson, H. S.: 1991, Nature 351, 92.Google Scholar
  46. Wolf, C.: 1983, Astrophys. J. 264, 667.Google Scholar
  47. Wolf, C.: 1984, Solar Phys. 93, 1.Google Scholar
  48. Wolf, C.: 1987, Science 235, 1631.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. D. Bouwer
    • 1
  1. 1.NOAA Space Environment Laboratory, System Technology Associates, Inc.BoulderU.S.A

Personalised recommendations