Equatorial coronal holes, solar wind high-speed streams, and their geoeffectiveness⋆
G. Verbanac1, B. Vršnak2, A. Veronig3 and M. Temmer3
Department of GeophysicsFaculty of Science, University of
2 Hvar Observatory, Faculty of Geodesy, University of Zagreb, Kačićeva 26, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
3 Institute for Physics, University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 5, 8010 Graz, Austria
Received: 31 March 2010
Accepted: 9 October 2010
Context. Solar wind high-speed streams (HSSs), originating in equatorial coronal holes (CHs), are the main driver of the geomagnetic activity in the late-declining phase of the solar cycle.
Aims. We analyze correlations between CH characteristics, HSSs parameters, and the geomagnetic activity indices, to establish empirical relationships that would provide forecasting of the solar wind characteristics, as well as the effect of HSSs on the geomagnetic activity in periods when the effect of coronal mass ejections is low.
Methods. We apply the cross-correlation analysis to the fractional CH area (CH) measured between central meridian distances ± 10°, solar wind parameters (flow velocity V, proton density n, temperature T, and the magnetic field B), and the geomagnetic indices Dst and Ap.
Results. The cross-correlation analysis reveals a high degree of correlation between all studied parameters. In particular, we show that the Ap index is considerably more sensitive to HSS and CH characteristics than Dst. The Ap and Dst indices are most tightly correlated with the solar wind parameter BV2.
Conclusions. From the point of view of space weather, the most important result is that the established empirical relationships provide a few-days-in-advance forecasting of the HSS characteristics and the related geomagnetic activity at the six-hour resolution.
Key words: Sun: corona / solar-terrestrial relations / solar wind
© ESO, 2010