Data-based modelling of the Earth’s dynamic magnetosphere: a review

N. A. Tsyganenko


This paper reviews the main advances in the area of data-based modelling of the Earth’s distant magnetic field achieved during the last two decades. The essence and the principal goal of the approach is to extract maximum information from available data, using physically realistic and flexible mathematical structures, parameterized by the most relevant and routinely accessible observables. Accordingly, the paper concentrates on three aspects of the modelling: (i) mathematical methods to develop a computational “skeleton” of a model, (ii) spacecraft databases, and (iii) parameterization of the magnetospheric models by the solar wind drivers and/or ground-based indices. The review is followed by a discussion of the main issues concerning further progress in the area, in particular, methods to assess the models’ performance and the accuracy of the field line mapping. The material presented in the paper is organized along the lines of the author's Julius-Bartels’ Medal Lecture during the General Assembly 2013 of the European Geosciences Union.