Solar-cycle dependence of a model turbulence spectrum using IMP and ACE observations over 38 years

Friday, 19 December 2014
Renier Adriaan Burger, Amore E Nel and Nicholas Eugene Engelbrecht, North-West University, Mahikeng, South Africa
Ab initio modulation models require a number of turbulence quantities as input for any reasonable diffusion tensor. While turbulence transport models describe the radial evolution of such quantities, they in turn require observations in the inner heliosphere as input values. So far we have concentrated on solar minimum conditions (e.g. Engelbrecht and Burger 2013, ApJ), but are now looking at long-term modulation which requires turbulence data over at a least a solar magnetic cycle. As a start we analyzed 1-minute resolution data for the N-component of the magnetic field, from 1974 to 2012, covering about two solar magnetic cycles (initially using IMP and then ACE data). We assume a very simple three-stage power-law frequency spectrum, calculate the integral from the highest to the lowest frequency, and fit it to variances calculated with lags from 5 minutes to 80 hours. From the fit we then obtain not only the asymptotic variance at large lags, but also the spectral index of the inertial and the energy, as well as the breakpoint between the inertial and energy range (bendover scale) and between the energy and cutoff range (cutoff scale). All values given here are preliminary. The cutoff range is a constraint imposed in order to ensure a finite energy density; the spectrum is forced to be either flat or to decrease with decreasing frequency in this range. Given that cosmic rays sample magnetic fluctuations over long periods in their transport through the heliosphere, we average the spectra over at least 27 days. We find that the variance of the N-component has a clear solar cycle dependence, with smaller values (~6 nT2) during solar minimum and larger during solar maximum periods (~17 nT2), well correlated with the magnetic field magnitude (e.g. Smith et al. 2006, ApJ). Whereas the inertial range spectral index (-1.65 ± 0.06) does not show a significant solar cycle variation, the energy range index (-1.1 ± 0.3) seems to be anti-correlated with the variance (Bieber et al. 1993, JGR); both indices show close to normal distributions. In contrast, the variance (e.g. Burlaga and Ness, 1998, JGR), and both the bendover scale (see Ruiz et al. 2014, Solar Physics) and cutoff scale appear to be log-normal distributed.