Scientific Program

chiche itza


Scientific Programme Committee

Description of Symposia


Joint Sessions


J1 Div. I/V Results from SWARM and preceding magnetic satellite missions

After Magsat (1980), Oersted (launched in 1999) and CHAMP (2000-2010), the next satellite mission to provide high-precision measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field is Swarm, an ESA mission due to be launched in the summer of 2012. Swarm will consist of two satellites at an initial altitude of 460-490 km (with orbital inclination of 87,4°) next to each other (allowing measurements of the longitudinal gradient), together with an additional identical satellite launched (with the same launcher) at a slightly higher initial altitude of 530 km (inclination 88°). All local times are to be explored within the multi-year mission lifetime, with the higher satellite due to progressively shift in local time (by 6 hours after 3 years) with respect to the lower pair of satellites. By the time of this session, Swarm is expected to have been in orbit for about one year, including time for commissioning, and first data (time series of the magnetic, electric, and acceleration fields together with GPS measurements and orbit determination) should have been released to the scientific community for calibration, validation and first scientific investigations. By then, first results in view of the production of derived data products (by ESA and the international SCARF facility set up under ESA contract), such as geomagnetic field models for distribution to an even wider public, should also be available. This session invites all reports on early results and experiences of the Swarm data set, together with reports on progress brought by magnetic data from previous satellite missions, combined with methodological progress, into our understanding of the core, lithosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere and other minor contributors to the magnetic signal measured in space, such as the electrically conducting mantle and ocean.

In recent years, the combination of globally distributed satellite magnetic data and continuous temporal monitoring by ground magnetic observatories has driven increasingly high resolution studies of geomagnetic secular variation. This session focuses on the use of magnetic observations to further improve our understanding of secular variation on time scales of decades and shorter. It will encompass issues of data selection, methods of time-dependent field modelling, and also investigations of the underlying MHD processes in the Earth’s core. Separation of the core field from other sources (external fields, related induced fields and crustal fields) remains a significant challenge that needs to be better addressed if recent and future magnetic observations are to be fully exploited. Improvements in data error covariance estimates, and new approaches to robust yet physically consistent field modelling are also urgently required. Contributions addressing operational issues related to the IGRF, including how best to construct time-dependent field models in epochs of changing data quality (such as the gap between the low-altitude satellite missions CHAMP and Swarm), and how best to predict future secular variation are particularly encouraged. On a deeper level, the processes generating secular variation on time scales of decades and shorter (including so-called ‘jerk’ events that may be only a part of a continuous spectrum of rapid variations) remain enigmatic. This session will explore the origin of rapid secular variation, including both the core dynamics and kinematics responsible, the characteristic temporal spectrum and geographical distribution of the rapid secular variation, its relation to torsional oscillations, and its importance for understanding variations in the Earth’s rotation.

Recent years have seen a growing interest in the possibility of applying data assimilation techniques to the analysis of geomagnetic observations. Compared with traditional modelling techniques, the novelty here lies in the use of a prognostic numerical model of core dynamics as a source of prior information for the geomagnetic inverse problem. The problem is then to combine this information in an optimal fashion with that contained in the highly heterogeneous observational record, and to modify the trajectory of the dynamical model accordingly. This framework opens the way to new dynamically based methods for retrospective analysis and mapping of past geomagnetic observations, and to improved prospective forecasts of the geomagnetic secular variation. This session welcomes contributions covering theoretical, methodological and practical aspects related to this new line of research, e.g., choice of the physical model of core dynamics, choice of prior dynamical error covariances, optimization methods of the assimilation algorithm, and design of operational schemes for the analysis of real data.

J4 Div. I/V Structure, geometries and properties of the continental mantle lithosphere and asthenosphere constrained by geo- and electromagnetism

The plate tectonic model of the Earth is now over half a century old, and in the main does a reasonable job of describing the surface kinematic movements of the continental and oceanic plates that cover our planet. In the model, the continents comprise thick (60-250 km), buoyant lithosphere riding on more ductile asthenosphere. However, our knowledge of the Earth’s mantle processes and its physical properties in depth is poor to very poor to virtually non-existent. Particularly poorly known are the formation, deformation and destruction processes of the continental lithospheric mantle, and whether these processes evolved through time. This session will bring together IAGA’s geoelectromagnetists and geomagnetists to try to elucidate some of the overarching and outstanding questions in tectonics today concerning the continental mantle lithosphere and asthenosphere through imaging structures, geometries and properties and drawing inferences and conclusions therefrom.

J5 Div. I/ III Contributions of electromagnetic array studies to understanding solid earth and magnetospheric processes. In memory of Ian Gough

Arrays of magnetometers have been used since the 1960’s to both look up and map spatio-temporal variations in the magnetosphere, and to look down and image the electrical conductivity of the Earth for geodynamic studies. Professor Ian Gough played a fundamental role in the early days of these array studies, developing a portable analogue magnetometer that was cheap enough to be produced in large numbers, and then, with colleagues in both the Earth and space sciences, deploying them in large regional arrays. Modern digital instruments, data processing, and numerical modeling methods allow a number of new applications. In solid Earth geophysics, arrays of synoptic magnetotelluric sites (with electric as well as magnetic field measurements) are now often deployed (e.g., the US EMScope, and Chinese Sino-probe MT projects), and interpreted with 3D inversion codes. In solar-terrestrial and magnetospheric physics, ground arrays have provided unique information on meso- and global scales, especially as a complement to and in combination with in-situ satellite measurements (e.g., as a measurement requirement for the recent NASA THEMIS mission, and in support of the upcoming NASA Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission to be launched in 2012). Recent advances have also emphasized the capabilities of magnetometer arrays to remote-sense the character of both the solid-Earth and magnetospheric plasma environments through applications of generalized magneto-sounding. Contributions to a symposium in honor of the memory of Prof. Ian Gough are sought on electromagnetic array studies across the spectrum of Earth and space sciences. Papers focusing on all aspect of magnetometer array studies are welcome, from new instrumentation or data analysis methodologies, to new results about the magnetosphere and solar-terrestrial coupling, or in solid Earth physics. We especially welcome papers which exemplify the scientific value of combining data from multiple arrays (e.g., through InterMagnet or SuperMAG) to study global and mesoscale magnetospheric structure and response to solar wind drivers, or for global studies of mantle conductivity.

J6 Div. II/ICMA and CAWSES-II/SCOSTEP Long-term changes and trends in the upper atmosphere-ionosphere system

Long-term changes and trends in the ionosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere and stratosphere are topic of this symposium. Both observational and model investigation papers are welcome. Particular preference will be given to papers which cover more height regions and reveal similarities and dissimilarities between trends at different heights in the atmosphere and uncover origin of such similarities or dissimilarities. Data quality is also a topic as well as the relative role of various trend drivers.

J7 Div. II/III Low Latitude Atmosphere-ionosphere Coupling Processes and

Responses to Forcing from Lower Atmosphere and Magnetosphere

The equatorial and low latitude atmosphere-ionosphere system presents unique coupling processes and is subject to drastic modification by dynamical and electro-dynamical processes arising from upward transport of energy and momentum by gravity-, tidal- and planetary waves originating from lower heights and extra-tropics. As a result large scale zonal, day-to-day and inter-annual variabilities occur in this latitude region. Magnetospheric/interplanetary forcing through disturbance electric fields and energy deposition at high latitudes with coupling to equatorial latitudes represents another important source of variability of the system at different time scales. This symposium will address all aspects of the dynamics, electrodynamics, energetics and coupling processes of the latitude region extending from the equator to mid-latitudes. Results are welcome from observational (from ground, space, or both), theoretical and modeling investigations.

We solicit variety of studies of small and large structures, TEC, winds and waves,

temperatures, plasma drifts, electric fields, currents, precursor conditions for equatorial plasma bubble development, anomaly, electrojet variabilities etc., with stress on importance of coupling processes.

J8 Div. II/III Extreme Space Weather: Solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere upper atmosphere coupling

The extremes of space weather are interesting because such extremes provide us with valuable information about the physical processes involved in the coupled Sun-Earth system, and their effects on technology and climate. The session will provide a forum to discuss the extreme space weather phenomena and processes such as the origin and propagation of CMEs and ICMEs, solar wind-magnetosphere interactions, auroral processes, geomagnetic storms and sub-storms, ionospheric storms and thermospheric storms, and events during the recent deep extended solar minimum. The space weather effects on satellite systems, power supply systems and Earth’s climate are of particular interest. Papers dealing with observations, theory and modeling of the extreme space weather phenomena and coupling processes on global and regional scales are solicited.

J10 Div. II/III/ICMA Energetic particle precipitation into the atmosphere: sources and consequences

Particle precipitation into the atmosphere is one of the mechanisms for energetic electron loss from the Van Allen radiation belts. This is particularly significant during and after geomagnetic storms, when the loss rate, and the source population, can both increase. This session is targeted at both ground-based and satellite experimental observations, as well as theoretical investigations, into the precipitation of energetic electrons (>20 keV) into the D-region ionosphere and below. Papers considering the precipitation drivers, the nature of the particle fluxes, or the impact of the precipitation on the ionosphere or atmosphere are welcome. We particularly welcome early results from RBSP, showing energetic electron loss examples and processes and how it can be applied by the atmospheric community.

J11 Div. II/III The Earth’s Plasmasphere: Modelling and Remote Sensing

The dynamics of the plasmasphere plays an important role in Earth’s space weather system, and is governed by solar activity. Also the plasmasphere is strongly coupled to the ionosphere by means of electromagnetic fields and currents. The plasmasphere forms the cold plasma background for the overlapping ‘warm’ (ring current) and ‘hot’ (radiation belts) regions and its plasma distribution is a fundamental parameter for the description and modelling of various physical processes in these regions. This session focuses on various remote-sensing techniques: active and passive ground-based measurements using ULF-ELF-VLF electromagnetic waves as well as satellite-based methods including radio sounding and imaging. Also included are the coupling processes related to cold plasma density.

J13 Div. IV/ III/ II From micro- to macro-scales in the heliosphere and magnetospheres

The sun emits a continuous stream of charged particles, known as the solar wind (SW), which expands and displaces the partially ionized interstellar gas to form the heliosphere. Inside the termination shock (TS) the supersonic SW interacts with planetary magnetic fields to produce localized planetary plasma environments known as magnetospheres. Macroscopically, magnetospheres and the heliosphere have similar qualitative structural aspects: bow shock, plasma-pause, plasma sheath, plasma tail. At each of these plasma structures, similar microphysics comes into play: particle acceleration, wave-particle interactions, shock microphysics, reconnection. In this session we seek contributions that investigate the structure of the heliosphere and/or the magnetosphere at different scales, and especially contributions that highlight similarities and differences between the two types of structures.

J14 Div. IV/II/III Heliospheric structure during the ascending phase of solar cycle 24

As solar activity increases during the ascending phase of the solar cycle the heliosphere becomes highly perturbed by large scale structures (coronal mass ejections, corotating interaction regions, interplanetary shocks). This session welcomes studies related to these structures based on combined observations (white light, radio, IPS, in situ), as well as contributions based on simulation results. Our goal is to understand in more detail the changes that the 3-D heliosphere suffers as solar wind and large scale structures change towards solar maximum.

J15 Div. III/ IV Plasma interactions at solar system bodies without or with weak intrinsic magnetic field

This session will be a forum for presenting recent progress in the space plasma physics of solar system bodies without or with weak intrinsic magnetic field. The interaction of Mars and Venus with the solar wind is mainly of the atmospheric type, at comets a comparable situation is met. At Mercury with its only weak intrinsic field, parts of the exosphere are exposed to the solar wind leading to similar atmospheric effects. Interaction of the weakly magnetised Earth Moon or of non-magnetic satellite bodies with the local plasma environment of their planet shows different aspects of a similar process. The session welcomes recent results from Mars, Venus and Mercury missions, from Cassini around Saturn’s moons and to results from the Kaguya (Selene) mission to the Earth Moon. Presentation of new results from a combined analysis of data from different instruments as well as from comparison of different planets and satellites is encouraged. Open topics on plasma boundaries and their dynamics, atmospheric and ionospheric escape, upstream waves, etc. will be discussed. Papers on numerical simulation, theoretical studies and comparison of numerical or theoretical results with recent data analysis are highly welcomed, as well as studies focusing on upcoming space missions like Bepi-Colombo to Mercury and Rosetta’s arrival at Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

J16 Div. III/IDCH History of Research on the Radiation Belts

In 1958 James Van Allen and co-workers discovered the Earth’s radiation belts using a simple Geiger counter. In the more than 30 years since that seminal observation, our understanding of the Earth’s radiation belts has changed dramatically and new questions about the fundamental processes of energetic particle acceleration, transport, and scattering have emerged. This session focuses on the critical discoveries and missions that have shaped our understanding of radiation belt physics. We will examine how particular space weather events (e.g. March 1991 and January 1997 and others), fundamentally altered the course of radiation belt research. Similarly long-term, climatological, observations now span several solar cycles providing new understanding of variability and context for individual events. We will consider the missions that revolutionized our understanding of radiation belt dynamics (e.g. CRRES, POLAR, SAMPEX and others) and what unique aspects of those observations shaped new paradigms. The “Radiation Belt Revolution” of the 1990s provided the motivation and impetus for a new generation of radiation belt missions including Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), the Energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) mission, Resonance, and others. This session will also discuss new radiation belt observations that hold promise for solving long-standing problems and the emergence of new paradigms for understanding radiation belt acceleration, transport, and loss.

J17 Div. II/IDCH History of Ionosonde Research

The ionosonde have been the work horse of ionospheric research for many decades. From the discovery of the ionospheric layers and their diurnal and seasonal variations to ionospheric dynamics and spread F, ionosondes have provided the basic measurements. Over time the ionosonde itself underwent a steady development from a relatively simple analog instrument to a highly sophisticated digital radar system, and the initial ground-based observations extended to satellite borne topside observations. We solicit papers on significant ionospheric research with ionosondes from ground and satellites and on the development of ionospheric sounders.

J18 ICDC Div. II / III / V Characterization of Ionospheric and Magnetospheric

Processes from ground and satellite observations

This session will accept contributions for both oral and poster presentations on general studies of the ionosphere and magnetosphere. The emphasis will be on the characterization of ionospheric and magnetospheric processes using ground and/or satellite observations, but theoretical and simulation studies are also welcome. Special emphasis will be given to the relevance of those studies to developing countries.

Division 1


1.1 Planetary dynamos and core dynamics

The last decade has yielded significant improvements in models of the dynamics of planetary cores. Numerical dynamo simulations have been used to investigate fluid mechanical and magnetohydrodynamic processes in a range of astrophysical bodies at different stages of their evolution using a variety of driving mechanisms, and control parameters. The development of scaling laws and the use of powerful computers to investigate the rapidly rotating regime characteristic of many planetary cores have facilitated comparisons between these simulations and the growing body of observational data. Moreover, continued improvements in understanding of the couplings between planetary cores and the solid or fluid shells that enclose them have provided new avenues for investigating core processes. This session invites general contributions relevant to the dynamics of planetary cores.

1.2 Experimental MHD and hydrodynamic processes

There is growing interest in understanding MHD processes through direct experiment. The last decade has seen some exciting results concerning magnetic field generation in electrically conducting fluid media and hydrodynamic processes in buoyancy drive and boundary driven flows. Examples of analogue experiments stretch from those concerned with tides, precession and libration through to rapidly rotating experimental dynamos. A range of instabilities has been studied, from boundary layer problems to the Magnetorotational instability (MRI). Furthermore, as strong magnetic fields have become more easily available, it has become an opportunity to study Alfven waves in the laboratory. Much remains to be understood, not least the effects of turbulence, modified by magnetic and rotational forces. Studies of weak turbulence, dominated by linear waves (inertial, Rossby, Alfven, torsional) at short time-scale, are highly relevant and appropriate. We solicit submissions concerned with experiments aimed at understanding planetary fluid dynamical phenomena, in all types of fluid and plasma. Our session welcomes all submissions concerned with experiments, including associated theory and numerical simulation papers.

1.4 Near surface application of electromagnetic induction

Electromagnetic geophysical methods have been applied in mapping the electrical conductivity structure of the ground, particularly for near-surface investigations. Examples include contaminated unconfined aquifers associated with landfills, landslides, seawater intrusion in coastal areas, the detection of cavities, and the detection of sinkholes, caves in karstic areas, mineral exploration as well as archaeological studies. With the development of new technologies, new instruments, and improved data-processing, electromagnetic methods are able to image shallow structures with applications to many environmental and near surface problems. We would like to invite contributions related to the issues mentioned above, including case studies, the development of novel applications of electromagnetic methods, and the joint inversion of electromagnetic data with other geophysical datasets.

1.5 Advances in electromagnetic modelling and inversion

The accurate prediction of galvanic distortions, both electric and magnetic, of increasingly detailed land, marine and airborne surveys as well as their interpretation in terms of realistic models of underground targets (from small UXO to large mantle structures), require a continuous evolution of electromagnetic modelling and inversion strategies of all kinds of electromagnetic data. With two-dimensional modelling well developed, there is the challenge of revisiting model propositions and uncertainty evaluation, with topics such as the assimilation of multicomponent data and prediction of electrical anisotropy. There is also an increased need to improve three dimensional modelling strategies for multisource data such as AEM and Marine CSEM, with their optimization and massive parallel computation challenges, as well as the need to evaluate the feasibility of time lapse EM modelling and inversion for water and hydrocarbon reservoirs. The combination of various types of EM and other geophysical data in joint inversion is also a field of much scientific and industry attention. In this session we invite contributions on recent developments on modelling and inversion of the several types of EM data in all dimensionality contexts and in combinations with other geophysical data. Cases history of the application and uncertainty evaluation of well established and emerging modeling strategies are also welcome for this session.

1.6 Marine electromagnetic studies

EM community members interested in marine electromagnetics are invited to submit papers to the session “Marine electromagnetic studies” for the IAGA 2013 12th Scientific Assembly, to be held from August 26 to 31, 2013, in Mérida, Yuc., Mexico. Marine geophysical exploration using electromagnetic techniques has been a subject of explosive evolution during the last decade. In this fast-developing science, unprecedented achievements parallel new open questions and challenges. We invite contributions in natural and controlled source marine EM, including advances in measurement techniques and instrumentation, data processing and analysis, as well as case histories from academics and industry.

1.7 Time variability of the geomagnetic field: supechrons, reversals, secular variation, jerks

The time spectrum of the geomagnetic field encompasses a wide range of timescales. This is being revealed in new detail by paleomagnetic data from lava and sedimentary rocks, archeomagnetic data, and historical records. We encourage contributions reporting on these data and on their analysis and interpretation in terms of the Earth’s internal dynamo.

1.8 Paleomagnetism and dating

The usefulness of the geomagnetic polarity timescale (GPTS) depends crucially on the precision of its correlation to absolute ages (dating), but also to the precision of correlation to other facets of geologic time such as marine isotopic stages and biostratigraphic zonations. Global manifestation and synchroneity of polarity reversals have made the polarity record central to geologic timescales over the last ~160 Myrs, and have accentuated the importance of these correlations. As precision in stratigraphic correlation becomes more important for understanding leads and lags in the paleoclimate record, the use for correlation of within polarity-chron paleomagnetic records, such as directional secular variation, magnetic excursions, and relative paleointensity (RPI), has become more widespread but over what spatial and temporal timescales can they be useful? Precision and accuracy in correlation and dating depends on the type of record (e.g. sedimentary, extrusive, archeological artefact), and ranges from years for historical secular variation records to tens of years for archeomagnetic observations, and up to thousands of year for older records of RPI, excursions, and reversals. We solicit contributions that deal with dating and correlating records of secular and archeomagnetic variations, RPI, excursions, and polarity reversals, using different dating and correlation methods.

1.9 Paleomagnetic reference models (GPTS, APWP, etc)

The paleomagnetic field has provided temporal and spatial frameworks which have been applied in a variety of stratigraphic, tectonic, paleogeographic and geodynamic problems. Examples of such models include apparent polar wander paths for continents and oceans, marine magnetic anomaly models and the geomagnetic polarity time scale. In many aspects, some of those models provide insufficient resolution to treat long standing questions such as true polar wander, uncertainties in hot spot reconstructions and long-term stability of the deep mantle and outer core. APWP´s are also in dire need of reconsideration in the context of remanence acquisition artifacts, improved dating techniques and long-term non-dipole field behavior. This session thus invites contributions from all fields of paleomagnetism and geomagnetism related to temporal and spatial reference models and their application in the earth sciences.

1.10 Paleomagnetism and magnetic fabrics applied to tectonic processes

The following session aims to summarize the latest findings in the field of paleomagnetic analysis together with magnetic fabrics and their application to tectonic processes. Contributions dealing with the combination of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility acquired in both low and high fields as well as anisotropy of remanent magnetizations with classical paleomagnetic studies are welcome. Topics for this session include, but are not restricted to, new traditional paleomagnetic results from rocks of all ages applied to tectonic processes, magnetic stratigraphy of sedimentary basins, magnetic fabrics studies in metamorphic terrains and igneous complexes, magnetic fabrics and other methods to correct paleomagnetic directional data (i.e. inclination shallowing), new techniques of magnetic fabrics analysis and/or fabrics separation, measurements of magnetic fabrics at different applied low-fields and interpretation of remanence fabrics, and non-traditional applications of magnetic fabrics. Special attention will be paid to the studies that combine magnetic methodologies with others such as microstructural analyses, field observations,

and their different scales of application. The session integrates also other research lines within the field of magnetic fabrics such as time and processes of lock in of the magnetic anisotropies in recent sediments, from both marine and terrestrial environments.

1.11 Open session on paleomagnetism and rock magnetism

This session provides the opportunity for contributions that fall within the broad spectrum of Paleomagnetism and Rock magnetism but are not directly appropriate to any of the other proposed sessions. We welcome contributions on magnetic studies of different past and present environments, as well as on new methods and developments of laboratory and field experiments, data analysis and interpretation. Multi-disciplinary approaches involving other complementary physical and chemical methods in addition to palaeomagnetic and rock magnetism studies are highly encouraged. We expect presentations on novel theoretical and experimental concepts and provocative theories in order to stimulate discussions and exchange of ideas among the authors and audience.

1.12 Applied Rock Magnetism: Toward a better understanding of controlling factors o environmental magnetic proxies

Environmental magnetism was established in the 1980’s as a new field and has been thriving for nearly thirty years. Magnetic properties of rocks and minerals are increasingly and widely applied to track sedimentary processes, decipher environmental changes, and reconstruct climatic histories from various sedimentary archives including marine, fluvial-lacustrine, and windblown deposits. Magnetic proxies for environmental and paleoclimate changes are appealing because most measurements are non-destructive, fast, and can be applied to large sample sets. However, when compared to other proxies, rock-magnetic paleoclimate reconstructions are seldom quantitative, and often the processes that link past environmental signals to the observed magnetic parameters in sediments or soils are poorly understood. To enhance the applications of environmental magnetism in geological and environmental studies, this session invites contributions that fall within the broad field of environmental magnetism. Contributions that clarify and quantify factors that determine sediment magnetic signals and link them to past environments via field investigations, theoretical models, magnetic instrumentation, and interdisciplinary parameter comparisons are particularly welcome.

1.13 Theoretical and Experimental Rock Magnetism

Theoretical magnetism is the cornerstone of all rock and paleomagnetic methods nd is fundamental to our understanding of natural systems. This session brings together a broad range of advances in theoretical magnetism including experimental or analytical methods, development of our knowledge of fundamental rock magnetic properties, and proof-of-concept studies linking magnetic properties to natural processes using control experiments. We welcome and encourage contributions focusing on fundamental rock magnetism, numerical modeling of magnetic phenomena, magnetic behavior of nanoparticle systems, magnetotactic bacteria, ultrafine particulate matter (PM2.5). Theoretical and experimental studies aimed at resolving open questions, such as accurate and efficient paleointensity determination, the origin of magnetic anisotropy in ferromagnetic particles, and lock-in mechanisms during acquisition of magnetization, etc., will complete the scope of the session. We aim to attract contributions where well-characterized samples (synthetic or natural) are used to investigate fundamental magnetic behaviour or demonstrate the validity of new methods.

Division 2


2.1 Equatorial spread-F and F3-layer studies during geomagnetic quiet and disturbed periods

The occurrence of equatorial spread-F and the development of the F3-layer present a strong day-to-day variability, mainly caused by the thermospheric wind and wave actions (gravity waves, tides, planetary waves, TIDs and MSTIDs). Recent multi-instrument and multi-site observations, as well as, theoretical and simulation investigations have advanced our understanding of these phenomena, both during geomagnetic quiet and disturbed periods. The objective of this symposium is to bring together experimentalists and theoreticians to survey the latest results, examine new ideas and concepts, and to indicate important future directions in equatorial and low-latitude research.

2.2 Div II/ICMA Electrodynamics and energetics of the middle atmosphere and lower thermosphere: the local and global picture

The wide range of interest in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere has been recently fuelled by dedicated satellites and new ground-based instruments designed to enhance our understanding of the coupling and energy transfer between the Earth’s atmosphere and near Earth-space. Effects induced by internal and external sources, such as the impact of lightning discharges, up- and downward streaming energetic charged particles and their hard radiation, cosmic rays, atmospheric waves, meteors and novel radio remote sensing strategies are considered. Localized, inter-hemispheric and global effects are of interest.

2.3 Div II/ICMA Coupling Processes in the Atmosphere-Ionosphere System

The Earth’s atmospheric regions are intricately coupled to one another via various dynamical, chemical, and electrodynamic processes. However, the manner in which the couplings take place due to varying energy inputs from the Sun and from the lower atmosphere is a question that is yet to be understood. The coupled effects can be in terms of the modulation of waves from lower to upper atmosphere as well as from low to high latitudes, electrodynamic and compositional changes, and plasma irregularities at different latitudinal regions of the globe due to the varying energy inputs. The MLT region is a critical region in the coupling between the lower/middle atmosphere and the upper atmosphere/ionosphere since it is here that physical processes filter and shape the flux of waves ascending through the mesosphere into the overlying thermosphere. On the other hand it is reasonable to presume that there might be a link between solar variability and the changes in the middle atmosphere and climate variables. This requires much improved knowledge and understanding of the solar effects on the coupling processes. This symposium solicits papers dealing with experiments, observations, modeling and data analysis that describe the effects of atmospheric coupling processes within the atmosphere-ionosphere system. It will address both theoretical and empirical recent results concerning the coupling mechanisms through dynamics, composition and electrodynamics. The symposium will be particularly focused on the dependence of coupling processes on the solar and geomagnetic activity, the downward control effects transferring from the strongly solar dependent structure to the lower atmospheric levels.

2.4 Div II/ICMA and CAWSES-II/SCOSTEP Long- and short-term solar influences in the middle and upper atmosphere

With increasing altitude solar variability becomes the dominant forcing mechanism for atmospheric and ionospheric variability at time scales from hours to decades. However, forcing from below essentially through waves (gravity waves, tides, planetary waves) has been detected as well. From available datasets it is not always straightforward to distinguish between solar and meteorological influences. Time series are often too short to clearly identify, e.g., the 11-year solar cycle in the presence of nonlinear trends owing to lower atmospheric variability. The effect of planetary waves at time scales of days to weeks is difficult to extract from time series in the presence of the solar rotation effect and harmonics. Furthermore, open questions remain about the propagation mechanism especially of planetary waves to the mesosphere/thermosphere/ionosphere. Time series analysis, theoretical work and modelling efforts to quantify meteorological and solar effects on the middle atmosphere and thermosphere/ionosphere should be combined to provide more insight into forcing mechanisms of middle /upper atmosphere variability.

2.5 Middle atmosphere science

Papers related to any aspect of the dynamics, chemistry, or physics of the atmosphere from near the tropopause to the lower thermosphere are appropriate for this session. Observational, modeling and theoretical papers are all solicited. Research topics include (but are not limited to): multiple-scale dynamics and mixing, observations and modeling of gravity waves, stratospheric chemistry and ozone, microphysics, chemistry and dynamics of the UTLS, and intraseasonal and interannual variations in the middle atmosphere. In particular, investigations of the middle atmosphere in the context of climate of the whole atmosphere are encouraged.

Division 3


3.1 ULF waves space-ground coordination

ULF waves are a persistent feature of magnetised planets and are detected by spacecraft and ground instrumentation over all magnetic activity levels. Observations and modeling of these waves provide information on changes of magnetospheric configuration, location of boundary regions, and the associated energy and mass transport processes. This symposium focuses on the detection and interpretation of ULF wave signals ranging from the irregular Pi activity to more continuous Pc1-5 waves and associated space and space-ground relationships. These include, but are not limited to, waves in the vicinity of the magnetopause, polar cap ULF wave signatures, solar wind to magnetosphere wave transfer studies, global Pc waves in the outer magnetosphere, and ionospheric influences on ground ULF wave signatures. Due to the limited number of high-altitude spacecraft, ground-based observations are required to maximize the spatial-temporal coverage of magnetospheric dynamics that can be monitored by ULF waves. Contributions addressing the calibration of ground against spacecraft data are particularly welcome, in addition to comparisons that reveal propagation properties (or not) of these waves. Experimental and modeling studies of ULF waves in other planetary systems are also welcome.

3.2 ULF waves in the inner magnetosphere

Observations with multi-spacecraft missions as well as magnetometer arrays and radars with a large field of view continue to improve our understanding of the spatial and temporal structure of ULF waves in the magnetosphere. In addition, numericals have advanced such that 3D MHD simulation is now capable of producing field line resonance and gyrokinetic code is being used to study ULF wave-particle interaction in the dipole magnetic field. This session invites papers on recent observational and theoretical results on ULF waves in the inner magnetosphere, loosely defined to be the region inward of geostationary orbit. Possible topics include, but not limited to, ULF waves generated by solar wind disturbances or internal plasma instabilities, plasmapause and ionospheric effects on wave propagation, and new observational, theoretical, or numerical techniques. Papers specifically addressing the relationship between waves in space and on the ground should be submitted to Session 3.1. Papers specifically addressing wave-particle interaction in the radiation belt and ring current during geomagnetic storms should be submitted to Session 3.3.

3.3 Wave and particle dynamics in the radiation belts and ring current

Recent progress in the understanding of radiation-belt energization and loss processes, as well as ring-current build-up and decay, has shown that the system is highly variable, and relies on a variety of different waves and other transient phenomena to couple the dynamic processes occurring in the inner magnetosphere. Multiple energization and loss process occur simultaneously, over a variety of spatial scales ranging from microscopic wave-particle interactions, to global-scale interactions, and a variety of temporal scales, from milliseconds to hours. In this session, we will focus on the dynamical behaviour of radiation-belt and ring-current particles, the global variability and coupling to the inner magnetosphere, and the nature and spatiotemporal distribution of the underlying waves that control this behaviour.

3.4 Magnetospheric Boundary Layers

Physical processes and properties of the magnetospheric boundary layers are crucial in determining the solar wind impact on Earth’s magnetosphere. The main physical mechanisms that facilitate energy, momentum and plasma transport at the magnetopause include Magnetic reconnection, Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability and diffusive mechanisms such as wave particle-interactions. Recent multi-spacecraft missions such as THEMIS and Cluster have made it possible to observe these processes with multi-point measurements enabling calculations of gradients and distinction between temporal and spatial changes. In this session we focus on the recent advances in boundary layer physics and properties. We welcome contributions from modelers, theorists and data-analysts to address the importance of boundary layer (magnetosheath, magnetopause, the cusps, high- and low-latitude boundary layer) processes and properties on magnetospheric dynamics.

color: #8b432a;">3.5 Different response modes of the magnetosphere to solar wind driving

It is well known that magnetospheric activity is directly linked to the input of energy from the solar wind. In response to increased energy input associated with a southward component of the interplanetary magnetic field, the magnetosphere may store and release this energy through a variety of response modes. These include, but are not limited to, substorms, pseudo-breakups, steady magnetospheric convection, and sawtooth events. The coupling response is further complicated by seasonal effects and massloading of the magnetosphere by ion outflow. The unprecedented magnetospheric in situ measurements combined with extensive ground-based instrumentation and advanced simulations have greatly increased our knowledge of how the magnetosphere responds to different solar wind driving conditions. We invite investigations that examine the different response modes of the magnetosphere, and how these responses manifest in all areas of geospace.

The plasma sheet serves as a reservoir for the storage of energy and mass that is central to magnetospheric dynamics. The plasma sheet is formed from particles entering directly and indirectly from the solar wind and ionosphere. The structure and asymmetry of its pressure, temperature, density, and entropy result from particle entry, transport, and loss processes that determine the dynamical magnetospheric response for different modes of solar wind driving. Plasma sheet dynamics are strongly coupled to the ionosphere through field-aligned currents and ion outflows. The ionosphere is modified by particle precipitation and Joule heating associated with field-aligned currents, while ionospheric outflows affect plasma sheet transport through mass loading. Furthermore, the Region 2 currents cause strong modifications of the global ionospheric electric field distribution, at middle latitudes by shielding and penetrating electric fields, at higher latitudes supporting the SAPS, and in the auroral region causing the Harang electric field reversal. Papers are solicited for this session on any of the above or related topics that are of importance to determining the formation of the plasma sheet (sources and losses), its structure and dynamics and/or the effects electrodynamical coupling has on ionospheric and magnetospheric processes. Papers dealing with the system as a whole or the coupling processes are also appropriate.

3.7 Auroral Processes

The auroral ionosphere and the field lines that thread it define a region of greatly enhanced energy transfer between the solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere. Decades of in-situ measurements and centuries of ground-based observations have led to identification of key aspects of auroral physics, including the connection between auroral arcs and field-aligned currents, electric potential drops parallel to the geomagnetic field, and the role of ionospheric conductivity in determining the frequency and intensity of auroral arcs. However, there remains no widely-accepted, self-consistent theory able to account for the generation, morphology, particle acceleration and energy flux characterizing even the most common auroral forms. This session will provide a forum for new theoretical, experimental, and simulation results pertaining to all auroral phenomena. Critical reviews of the current state of understanding of the discipline are also encouraged.

3.8 High latitude electrodynamics and ion outflow

Ion outflow from the high-latitude ionosphere is continually flowing to the magnetosphere, transferring particle energy and mass between the two regions. At times, the ionospheric outflow is the dominant source of magnetospheric plasma and therefore plays a critical role in the dynamics of magnetospheric substorms and geospace magnetic storms. Conversely, high-latitude electrodynamics is influenced by the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), the magnetospheric convection electric field and by currents and impulsive electric fields associated with substorms. Understanding the complex coupling of high-latitude electrodynamics, ionospheric outflow and magnetospheric dynamics, is of vital importance to space physics. Papers on modeling studies and ground- and space-based multi-instrument observations of this coupling are solicited. Comparisons of numerical simulations with observations from multiple platforms are particularly suitable to this session.

3.9 Reporter Reviews - Division III

New and interesting research from Division III scientists published in 2011-2013 will be summarised by the Reporters, following eight themes: (1) Magnetopause and boundary layer, (2) Auroral phenomena, (3) ULF waves, (4) Tail dynamics, (5) Inner magnetosphere, (6) Wave-particle interaction in the inner magnetosphere, (7) Global magnetospheric dynamics, and (8) Magnetospheres other than Earth.

Division 4


4.1 New Solar and Interplanetary Results

This session is dedicated to the new observational results from recent missions (such as SDO, Hinode, Stereo, SOHO, Cluster) about the dynamics and structure of the Sun and the interplanetary medium, and relevant theoretical and modelling work. These results have enriched our knowledge of the energy storage and release processes of solar eruptions including flares and CMEs, the heating of the corona, the origin and acceleration of the solar wind, the acceleration and transport of energetic particles, MHD shocks, wave-particle interactions, and plasma turbulence, etc. This session invites contributions that emphasize new results from both space and ground-based observatories, as well as the development of theories and models which are relevant to our understanding the dynamics of the sun and interplanetary medium. It is aimed at stimulating exchanges and promoting discussions on the results derived from the new observations and latest research in the field.

4.2 Wave Propagation in the Outer Solar Atmosphere

In recent years wave heating and acceleration mechanism have come to the fore in solar physics following a dramatic increase in observational capabilities. This session will discuss wave and quasi-periodic phenomena as they are observed throughout the outer solar atmosphere. We would like to explore the large variety of drivers and coupling mechanisms for these phenomena as well as making a careful assessment of their energy content and dissipation mechanisms in open and closed magnetic topologies.

4.3 Multi-spectral studies of solar flares

Solar flares are often viewed as the most dramatic and powerful magnetic explosions in the solar system. After the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009, the solar activity is on the rise and the Sun has already produced a number of spectacular solar flare events. Despite of the substantial progress made over the last few decades in understanding the physics of solar flares, there are many open questions. Over the last few years, the unprecedented variety of the spacecraft and ground based observations of solar flares become available: from the high energy gamma and X-ray emission (RHESSI, Fermi), through EUV, optical (SDO, Hinode, STEREO) range down to radio frequencies (STEREO, Wind). These space-based observations are substantially enhanced via a number of ground based observations, notably with solar radio observatories. The session aims to bring together the diverse solar flare community to discuss the latest observations, modelling and theoretical developments in the area of solar flare physics. It will focus on correlative analysis of simultaneous multi-spectral observations of solar flare phenomena addressing the key science questions of magnetic energy release, energetic particle acceleration and transport, the response and emissions in the solar atmosphere and the heliosphere. In addition, the connection of the observational results with the modelling and theoretical developments in this area will be discussed.

4.4 Crossing the Heliopause into the Interstellar Medium

Recent Voyager 1 data shows the radial speed of the plasma in the heliosheath is near zero. This signature suggests that Voyager 1 may be near the heliopause and about to cross into the interstellar medium. Recent data from IBEX suggests that no bow shock is formed in the interstellar medium so Voyager will sample unshocked interstellar material. This session will cover recent observations by both Voyager and IBEX and model results bearing on the interaction of the heliosphere with the interstellar medium and in particular the heliopause interface.

4.5 Reporter Reviews

In this session, in-depth review talks will report major recent observational and theoretical progresses on the sun, the solar wind and heliosphere. Given by experienced and active researchers, these talks cover a comprehensive range of topics and debates which are relevant to Division IV scientists and appealing to researchers in other IAGA divisions. All talks in this session are by invitation only.

5.1 Advances towards an improved global geomagnetic observatory network

Geomagnetic observatories provide magnetic vector time series that are of special value because of their homogenous, continuous, and long period absolute data. This session deals with advancements in the operation of individual observatories as well as the progress of the global geomagnetic observatory network. The global coverage can be improved by establishing new observatories, and such effort is currently ongoing. The time series of the existing observatories have to be continued and might even be prolonged backwards by digitizing information from analogue magnetograms and tables. Geomagnetic observatory data has to be accessible to scientists in a fast and uniform way. Contribution are invited on the mentioned subjects, including geomagnetic bservatory instrumentation and operation, processing and data management, digitization of analogue data, quality check of archive data, new data products like Intermagnet’s quasidefinitive and 1-second data, and on remote bservatories.

5.2 Recent magnetic surveys for regional and global characterization of the geomagnetic field

Over the past decades, geophysical surveys of the Earth’s magnetic field have been significantly advanced through the use of satellite technology permitting global field characterization. Large-scale airborne, land and marine geomagnetic surveys remain an important source for detailed regional near surface data. The combination of remote sensing and ground survey measurements through generation of seamless digital grids has resulted in new data sets describing crustal magnetic anomalies across many regions of the globe. This session focuses on applications and case studies of geomagnetic surveys providing surface (land and marine) and airborne magnetic data, as well as the interpretation of this data with respect to the spatial and temporal evolution of the Earth’s magnetic field. Additionally, we invite papers on magnetic studies for the understanding of regional tectonics, natural hazards and environmental settings, as well as contributions concerning the development of related data acquisition methodology, technology and its interpretation.

5.3 Magnetic observatory data as applied in space weather/climate

Ground magnetometers can be used to study the magnetic fields and electric currents of the changing space environment. Magnetic observatories and networks have provided and continue providing important long-term data sets for monitoring space conditions over many solar cycles. This valuable global database allows us to explore both short-term changes of space weather and the long-term evolution called the space climate. In this session we solicit papers that address any of a versatile range of topics related to geomagnetic observations and geomagnetic indices such as: special space events and processes; derivation and properties of indices of geomagnetic activity and magnetic storminess; short-term and long-term drivers of magnetic disturbances and storms and their relation to the Sun; geomagnetic observations and indices in research and applications; geomagnetic data mining, analysis, validation, assimilation and visualisation; short-term variability of the space environment and space weather; and longterm variability and space climate; models of magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems and fields.

5.4 Polar cap geomagnetic indices: meaning derivation and uses

The Polar cap (PC) index is a set of geomagnetic indices (PCN and PCS) which were originally designed to be a proxy for the electric field in the solar wind determined using geomagnetic measurements from ground stations under the polar cap. The indices have been in use now for 25 years (concept suggested in 1988) therefore it is a rather new topic in the field of geomagnetic indices, as compared to the planetary indices that inherit the knowledge accumulated since the late 19th century, or to ring current characterization that began in the nineteen-fifties! Much literature has been published during the last fifteen years, with nomenclatures and methods that evolve with time so as to improve the index and get the most reliable possible information on the convection in the polar ionosphere. Since 1997 discussions of the validity of the index to be endorsed as an official IAGA index have ensued. There is no doubt as to the scientific merit of the index. Clarification of the PC index issues would be of great help to pave the way towards a definition of the PC index that gains consensus within the scientific community. This session aims at contributing to this clarification.

Contributions dealing with the determination, meaning, and usage of Polar Cap geomagnetic indices are welcome

5.5 The use of Geomagnetic observations in conjunction with lidar, radar and other measurements for ionospheric studies

An important aspect of ionospheric studies is the coupling provided by forcing below apart from the forcing from above induced by space weather events. The quiet-time variabilities of ionosphere are primarily caused by atmospheric waves and tides that can explain the day-to-day variability of several ionospheric parameters. In recent years, satellite observations have focused on understanding the wave-4 signatures noticed in a variety of data sets, including geomagnetic field observations. When combined with other complementary observations from lidars and radars, greater use of ground and satellite magnetic field data in addressing the day-to-day variability of the ionosphere is envisaged. There has also been considerable interest in the recent past in understanding the ionospheric signatures of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, thunderstorms and cyclones/ typhoons though the mechanisms by which the disturbances propagate to ionosphere are still being debated. This session will focus on all aspects of atmosphere-ionosphere, lithosphere-ionosphere and magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere coupling with emphasis on the role of geomagnetic, lidar, radar and barometric observations from ground and a variety of satellite data sets in addressing those aspects.

5.6 Modelling and interpretation of lithospheric magnetic anomalies

We invite contributions on lithospheric and crustal magnetic anomalies at all scales, from the analysis of a wide range of datasets including magnetic satellite missions, aeromagnetic and marine magnetic surveys, and ground magnetic measurements (including archaeological investigations). Contributions involving different scales and/or datasets are particularly welcome, including results derived from data compilations such as the World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map. Contributions on methodological advances to acquire, process, interpret and model magnetic anomalies are also expected. Finally, original contributions on seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies are encouraged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vine and Matthews (1963) seminal paper on their modeling and interpretation.

5.7 Reporter Reviews

Scope: This session is composed of invited papers which review recent progress, innovation or discovery in observation, modelling and interpretation of the geomagnetic field. All Division-V research topics are covered: geomagnetic data acquisition systems; magnetic field observations (ground and satellite measurements and survey programs); field modelling and interpretation; geomagnetic indices; data dissemination and analysis; all to improve understanding of the geomagnetic field and its various sources, from core to space.

Sessions of ICDC and IDCH all are organized together with other IAGA divisions, please check above!