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Development of a High-Latitude Convection Model by Application of Machine Learning to SuperDARN observations
  • William A. Bristow,
  • Charles Topliff,
  • Morris B. Cohen
William A. Bristow
Pennsylvania State University

Corresponding Author:wab5217@psu.edu

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Charles Topliff
Georgia Institute of Technology
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Morris B. Cohen
Georgia Institute of Technology
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A new model of high-latitude convection derived using machine learning (ML) is presented. The ML algorithm random forests regression was applied to a database of velocity observations from the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN). The features used to train the model were the IMF components Bx, By, and Bz; the solar wind velocity, vsw; the auroral indicies, Au and Al; and the geomagnetic index, SYM-H. The SuperDARN velocities were separated into north-south, and east-west components and sorted into a magnetic local time - magnetic latitude grid that ran from 55° to the magnetic pole with a bin size of 2° in latitude, and 1-hour in MLT. Separate models were created for each velocity component in each bin of the grid. It is found that even though the models in each bin are independent of one another a coherent convection pattern is formed when the models are viewed in aggregate. The resulting convection pattern responds to changes in the auroral indicies by expanding and contracting in a way that is consistent with expectations for a substorm cycle. Further it is found that the mean-squared difference between predictions of the model and observed values of the velocity are substantially lower than the same quantity calculated for an existing climatology that was not formed with ML techniques
Jan 2022Published in Space Weather volume 20 issue 1. 10.1029/2021SW002920