Permutation entropy and complexity analysis of large-scale solar wind structures and streams

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In this work, we perform a statistical study of magnetic field fluctuations in the solar wind at 1 au using permutation entropy and complexity analysis and the investigation of the temporal variations of the Hurst exponents. Slow and fast wind, magnetic clouds, interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME)-driven sheath regions, and slow-fast stream interaction regions (SIRs) have been investigated separately. Our key finding is that there are significant differences in permutation entropy and complexity values between the solar wind types at larger timescales and little difference at small timescales. Differences become more distinct with increasing timescales, suggesting that smaller-scale turbulent features are more universal. At larger timescales, the analysis method can be used to identify localised spatial structures. We found that, except in magnetic clouds, fluctuations are largely anti-persistent and that the Hurst exponents, in particular in compressive structures (sheaths and SIRs), exhibit a clear locality. Our results shows that, in all cases apart from magnetic clouds at the largest scales, solar wind fluctuations are stochastic, with the fast wind having the highest entropies and low complexities. Magnetic clouds, in turn, exhibit the lowest entropy and highest complexity, consistent with them being coherent structures in which the magnetic field components vary in an ordered manner. SIRs, slow wind and ICME sheaths are intermediate in relation to magnetic clouds and fast wind, reflecting the increasingly ordered structure. Our results also indicate that permutation entropy-complexity analysis is a useful tool for characterising the solar wind and investigating the nature of its fluctuations.

TidskriftAnnales Geophysicae
Sidor (från-till)163-177
Antal sidor15
StatusPublicerad - 27 maj 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 115 Rymdvetenskap och astronomi
  • 114 Fysik

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