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Action Team: Assessing the Uncertainty of Coronal Hole Boundary Locations

Team ID: S2-01

Team Leads:

Martin Reiss (SRI Graz, Austria),


The ambient solar wind flows, and the magnetic fields embedded within it, are driven by the Sun's magnetic field. Thus, studying the magnetic field configuration in the solar atmosphere is of key importance for improving the understanding and ultimately improve the predictions of the evolving space weather from Sun to Earth. The magnetic configuration of open field lines along which solar wind flows accelerate to supersonic speeds, commonly known as coronal holes, is especially important for predicting key properties in the interplanetary space such as solar wind bulk speed, magnetic field strength, and field orientation. Additionally, the dynamic evolution of coronal hole boundaries is understood as having a critical role in the origin of the slow solar wind. Coronal holes in EUV and X-Ray images are an important diagnostic of the magnetic field configuration of the Sun and are a key observational test for numerical models of the ambient solar wind. Despite the importance of these solar phenomena, there has been no detailed investigation of the strengths and weaknesses of automated coronal hole detection schemes. 


The objectives of this action team are threefold: First, to study and compare different automated coronal hole detection schemes with open communication with the space weather community. Second, to develop strategies to quantitatively assess the spatial and temporal uncertainty of coronal hole boundary locations. Third, to use this information to further improve the predictive capabilities of ambient solar wind models.

Action Items:

  1. Establish a database of CH candidates based on different automated coronal hole detection schemes.
  2. Define metrics to systematically assess the uncertainty of coronal hole boundaries in EUV and X-Ray images of the Sun to better understand the advantages/disadvantages of these techniques.
  3. Develop strategies to systematically assess the uncertainty of CH boundary locations in ambient solar wind models.
  4. Use the results of the action team to inform/constrain ambient solar wind models and enhance their predictive capabilities.

Action Topics:

Quantification of uncertainties in mapping to solar wind sources

Clusters with ovelapping topics: H1