Formation, shape, and evolution of magnetic structures in CIRs at 1 AU

T. W. Broiles, M. I. Desai, D. J. McComas

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23 Scopus citations


We have surveyed the properties of 153 co-rotating interaction regions (CIRs) observed at 1AU from January, 1995 through December, 2008. We identified that 74 of the 153 CIRs contain planar magnetic structures (PMSs). For planar and non-planar CIRs, we compared distributions of the bulk plasma and magnetic field parameters. Our identification of CIRs and their features yields the following results: (1) The different pressures within CIRs are strongly correlated. (2) There is no statistical difference between planar and non-planar CIRs in the distributions and correlations between bulk plasma and magnetic field parameters. (3) The mean observed CIR azimuthal tilt is within 1 of the predicted Parker spiral at 1AU, while the mean meridional tilt is about 20. (4) The meridional tilt of CIRs changes from one solar rotation to the next, with no relationship between successive reoccurrences. (5) The meridional tilt of CIRs in the ecliptic is not ordered by the magnetic field polarity of the parent coronal hole. (6) Although solar wind deflection is a function of CIR shape and speed, the relationship is not in agreement with that predicted by Lee (2000). We conclude the following: (1) PMSs in CIRs are not caused by a unique characteristic in the local plasma or magnetic field. (2) The lack of relationship between CIR tilt and its parent coronal hole suggests that coronal hole boundaries may be more complex than currently observed. (3) In general, further theoretical work is necessary to explain the observations of CIR tilt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA03102
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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