Robust statistical properties of the size of large burst events in AE

Hush, P.; Chapman, S. C.; Dunlop, M. W. and Watkins, N. W. (2015). Robust statistical properties of the size of large burst events in AE. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(21) pp. 9197–9202.



Geomagnetic indices provide a comprehensive data set with which to quantify space climate, that is, how the statistical likelihood of activity varies with the solar cycle. We characterize space climate by the AE index burst distribution. Burst sizes are constructed by thresholding the AE time series; a burst is the sum of the excess in the time series for each time interval over which the threshold is exceeded. The distribution of burst sizes is two component with a crossover in behavior at thresholds ≈1000 nT. Above this threshold, we find a range over which the mean burst size varies weakly with threshold for both solar maxima and minima. The burst size distribution of the largest events is exponential. The relative likelihood of these large events varies from one solar maximum and minimum to the next. Given the relative overall activity of a solar maximum/minimum, these results constrain the likelihood of extreme events of a given size.

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