For a year of quiet solar-activity level, geomagnetic records from American hemisphere observatories located between about 0?? and 30?? north geomagnetic latitude were used to compare the annual and semiannual variations of the geomagnetic field associated with three separate contributions: (a) the quiet-day midnight level, MDT; (b) the solar-quiet daily variation, Sq; (c) the quiet-time lunar semidiurnal tidal variation, L(12). Four Fourier spectral constituents (24, 12, 8, 6 h periods) of Sq were individually treated. All three orthogonal elements (H, D and Z) were included in the study. The MDT changes show a dominant semiannual variation having a range of about 7 gammas in H and a dominant annual variation in Z having a range of over 8 gammas. These changes seem to be a seasonal response to the nightside distortions by magnetospheric currents. There is a slow decrease in MDT amplitudes with increasing latitude. The Sq changes follow the patterns expected from an equatorial ionospheric dynamo electrojet current system. The dominant seasonal variations occur in H having a range of over 21 gammas for the 24 h period and over 12 gammas for the 12 h period spectral components. The higher-order components are relatively smaller in size. The Sq(H) amplitudes decrease rapidly with increasing latitude. Magnetospheric contributions to the equatorial Sq must be less than a few per cent of the observed magnitude. The L(12) variation shows the ionospheric electrojet features by the dominance of H and the rapid decrease in amplitude with latitude away from the equator. However, the seasonal variation range of over 7 gammas has a maximum in early February and minimum in late June that is not presently explainable by the known ionospheric conductivity and tidal behavior. ?? 1981.
Additional publication details
Annual and semiannual variations of the geomagnetic field at equatorial locations