Visiting staff

Robert J. Stening

MSc Syd., PhD Qld., DipTertEd N.E. ThC (Moore Coll) FAIP

Senior Visiting Fellow

Department and Research Groups

Ionospheric Physics

Robert J. Stening

Research Interests

Throughout my research career I have been studying the electric currents in the ionosphere.

These are generated at around 110 km altitude when winds blow the ionized atmosphere at these heights across the Earth's magnetic field, generating emfs. The currents are observed as small magnetic changes on magnetometers at ground-based magnetic observatories all around the world.

Ultimately I would like to be able to infer from the magnetic variations what the winds are doing, which should, in turn, tell us something about the general state of the upper atmosphere. We use computer models to tell us what magnetic variations are produced by different expected wind systems. This procedure is complicated by the existence of Hall currents and currents flowing along magnetic field lines from one hemisphere to the other.

One particular interest has been the lunar tidal variations in this region of the atmosphere. I have studied these both by analysing data and by using the computer model to simulate the observations.

Selected Publications

  • Stening, R.J., T. Reztsova, D. Ivers, J. Turner and D.E. Winch (2008), Spherical cap harmonic analysis of magnetic variations data from mainland Australia, Earth, Planets, Space, 60, 1177-1186.
  • Stening, R.J (2011)., Lunar tide in the equatorial electrojet in relation to stratospheric warmings, J. Geophys. Res. 116, A12315, doi: 10.1029/2011JA017047.
  • Stening R. J., and D. E. Winch (2013), The ionospheric Sq current system obtained by spherical harmonic analysis, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 118, 1288–1297, doi:10.1002/jgra.50194.
  • What drives the equatorial electrojet? R.J. Stening. J. Atmos Terr. Phys., 57, 1117-1128, (1995).
  • Variations in the strength of the Sq current system. R.J. Stening, Annales Geophysicae, 13, 627-632, (1995).
  • N2 and M2 lunar tides: atmospheric resonance revisited. D.M. Schlapp, R.J. Stening, J.M. Forbes, A.H. Manson, C.E. Meek and R.A. Vincent, Annales Geophysicae, 14, 826-836, (1996).
  • Upper Atmosphere Wind Systems during reverse equatorial electrojet events. R.J. Stening, C.E. Meek and A.H. Manson, Geophys. Res. Lett., 23, 3243-3246, (1996).
  • Experiments with a lunar atmospheric model. R.J. Stening, J.M. Forbes, M.E. Hagan and A.D. Richmond, J. Geophys. Res., 102, 13465-13471, (1997).

Contact Details 

Mail Address

School of Physics
The University of New South Wales

Email Address

Phone Number

61 2 9385 4584

Facsimile Number

61 2 9385 6060