Date of Award:


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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Dr. Lie Zhu


The magnetosphere-ionosphere contains a number of current systems. These currents vary on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales and physically couple with each other. To study the complicated behaviors of these coupled current systems, the ground-based magnetometer has been a useful tool, but the recorded magnetometer data are always multi-scaled and intermittent due to the nature of these current systems. To distinguish these geomagnetic effects with multiple temporal and frequency scales, the wavelet analysis technique is especially suitable because of its special abilities of presenting information in both temporal and frequency domains. In this dissertation, the geomagnetic disturbances and the ring current variability during storm and quiet times are studied by using wavelet analysis and ground-based magnetic data from multiple stations. The first part of this dis- sertation investigates the strengths of applying the wavelet procedure to geomagnetic data for ring current study during storm and quiet periods. The second part of this dissertation characterizes the geomagnetic effects caused by symmetric and asymmetric components of ring currents during storm and quiet times by applying wavelet analysis to geomagnetic data from multiple stations. The third part of this dissertation studies the spatial variabil- ity of the symmetric ring current by applying the wavelet analysis technique to multiple components of magnetic data from multiple stations. The results show the unique strengths of the wavelet method allow us to quantitatively distinguish the geomagnetic effects on ring current variations from other M-I current systems. The unique strengths of wavelet method also allow us to separate the magnetic effects of the symmetric ring current from those caused by the asymmetric ring current. Quantitative information of the spatial variability of the ring currents is essential for understanding the dynamics of the ring currents, as well as the magnetic storm processes. The techniques developed in this dissertation have potential values as space weather monitoring tools for satellite controls, power grids, com- munication systems, oil pipelines, and other high-tech systems that are vulnerable to the negative impacts of disruptive geomagnetic events.


This work made publicly available electronically on August 5, 2011

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