The magnetogram inversion technique (MIT), developed at ISTP SB RAS more than forty years ago, has been used until recently only in the Northern Hemisphere. In recent years, MIT has been improved and extended to make instantaneous calculations of 2D distributions of electric fields, horizontal and field-aligned currents in two polar ionospheres. The calculations were carried out based on one-minute ground-based geomagnetic measurements from the worldwide network of stations in both hemispheres (SuperMAG). In this paper, this extended technique is used in the approximation of uniform ionospheric conductance and is applied for the first time to calculations of equivalent and field-aligned currents in two hemispheres through the example of the August 17, 2001 geomagnetic storm. We have obtained the main and essential result: the advanced MIT-ISTP can calculate large-scale distributions of ionospheric convection and FACs in the Northern (N) and Southern (S) polar ionospheres with a high degree of expected hemispheric similarity between these distributions. Using the said event as an example, we have established that the equivalent and field-aligned currents obtained with the advanced technique exhibit the expected dynamics of auroral electrojets and polar caps in two hemispheres. Hall current intensities in polar caps and auroral electrojets, calculated from the equivalent current function, change fairly synchronously in the N and S hemispheres throughout the magnetic storm. Both (westward and eastward) electrojets of the N hemisphere are markedly more intense than respective electrojets of the S hemisphere, and the Hall current in the north polar cap is almost twice as intense as that in the south one. This interhemispheric asymmetry is likely to be due to seasonal conductance variations, which is implicitly contained in the current function. From FAC distributions we determine auroral oval boundaries and calculate magnetic fluxes through the polar caps in the N and S hemispheres. These magnetic fluxes coincide with an accuracy of about 5 % and change almost synchronously during the magnetic storm. In the N hemisphere, the magnetic flux in the dawn polar cap is more intense that that in the dusk one, and vice versa in the S hemisphere. These asymmetries (dawn–dusk and interhemispheric) in the polar caps are consistent with the theory of reconnection for IMF By>0 and with satellite images of auroral ovals; both of these asymmetries decrease during the substorm expansion phase.
current function, ionospheric convection, polar cap, auroral electrojets, field-aligned currents, magnetic storms and substorms, dawn–dusk asymmetry, interhemispheric asymmetry
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