Inverting magnetic meridian data using nonlinear optimization

Martin Connors, Gordon Rostoker

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A nonlinear optimization algorithm coupled with a model of auroral current systems allows derivation of physical parameters from data and is the basis of a new inversion technique. We refer to this technique as automated forward modeling (AFM), with the variant used here being automated meridian modeling (AMM). AFM is applicable on scales from regional to global, yielding simple and easily understood output, and using only magnetic data with no assumptions about electrodynamic parameters. We have found the most useful output parameters to be the total current and the boundaries of the auroral electrojet on a meridian densely populated with magnetometers, as derived by AMM. Here, we describe application of AFM nonlinear optimization to magnetic data and then describe the use of AMM to study substorms with magnetic data from ground meridian chains as input. AMM inversion results are compared to optical data, results from other inversion methods, and field-aligned current data from AMPERE. AMM yields physical parameters meaningful in describing local electrodynamics and is suitable for ongoing monitoring of activity. The relation of AMM model parameters to equivalent currents is discussed, and the two are found to compare well if the field-aligned currents are far from the inversion meridian.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec. 2015


  • Current systems
  • Equivalent current
  • Geomagnetism
  • Geophysical inversion techniques
  • Nonlinear optimization
  • Substorms


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