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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • aurora
  • criticality
  • nonlinear
  • complex
  • substorms
  • space weather

Index Terms

  • 4425 Nonlinear Geophysics: Critical phenomena
  • 4430 Nonlinear Geophysics: Complex systems
  • 4440 Nonlinear Geophysics: Fractals and multifractals
  • 2704 Magnetospheric Physics: Auroral phenomena



Complex Analysis of Polar Auroras for 1996

J. Wanliss and J. Peterson

Geomagnetic and auroral fluctuations feature bursts of activity on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Statistics of these activity bursts, at both high- and low-latitudes, show strong scaling properties that indicate the magnetosphere tends to operate in a stable critical state. Recent work shows how this complex behavior is ubiquitous throughout the magnetosphere and possesses power law intermittency statistics implying global and/or local self-organized critical dynamics. Here we provide a detailed description of an analysis technique to study multiscale correlations of high-resolution ultraviolet images of the nighttime sector of the northern aurora from the Ultraviolet Imager onboard the Polar spacecraft. Each image is considered as a fractal surface, whose roughness varies and is reorganized during intense magnetospheric activity. We test to see how the fractal roughness varies as a function of other measures of activity, such as the geomagnetic indices SYM-H and AE.

Citation: Wanliss, J., and J. Peterson (2012), Complex analysis of polar auroras for 1996, in Extreme Events and Natural Hazards: The Complexity Perspective, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 196, edited by A. S. Sharma et al. 293–298, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2011GM001083.

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