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Study of the longitudinal expansion velocity of the substorm current wedge  [PDF]
A. Belehaki,I. Tsagouri,H. Mavromichalaki
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2003,
Abstract: In this work we examine simultaneous observations from the two geosynchronous satellites GOES-5 and GOES-6 located at 282°E and 265°E respectively, and from middle and low latitude ground observatories located within 250°E and 294°E geographic longitude, during isolated substorms of moderate activity. The spatial distribution of our observation points allows us to make a detailed study of the azimuthal expansion of the substorm current wedge. The data analysis shows evidence that the substorm initiation and development mechanism include the cross-tail current diversion/ disruption, the substorm current wedge formation and the azimuthal expansion of the inner plasma sheet. The triggering mechanism is initially confined in a longitudinally narrow sector, estimated to be less than 15° and located very close to local midnight to the east or to the west. The current disruption region expands both eastward and westward in the magnetotail, so that the location of major field-aligned currents flowing into the ionosphere shifts successively eastward, and the location of the currents flowing out of the ionosphere shifts successively westward. Evidence was found that the perturbation travels toward the west with velocities greater than those expanding the wedge eastward. The drastic decrease of the velocity with the azimuthal distance from the location of the disturbance initiation, i.e., the onset sector, indicates that the energy release is a very localized phenomenon. Finally, the transient D perturbation observed by the geosynchronous satellites suggests that the field-aligned currents forming the wedge have a longitudunally limited extent. Key words. Magnetospheric physics (current systems; magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions)
Creation of the substorm current wedge through the perturbation of the directly driven current system: a new model for substorm expansion
G. Rostoker,E. Friedrich
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2005,
Abstract: The past four decades have seen a considerable amount of research on the study of magnetospheric substorms, and over most of these years the expansive phase of the substorm has been associated with the development of a three dimensional current system that has been termed the substorm current wedge. This current system has been thought to be a consequence of the short-circuiting of crosstail current through the ionosphere, and is viewed as a distinctive current system operating independently from the directly driven current with which it co-exists. The purpose of this paper is to show that the substorm current wedge should be viewed as an equivalent current system rather than a real current system. It will be shown that the magnetic perturbation pattern associated with the current wedge can be modeled as purely a perturbation of the directly driven current system in the midnight sector. Keywords. Magnetospheric physics (Auroral phenomena; Current systems; Magnetotail; Storms and substorms
SABRE observations of structured ionospheric flows during substorm expansion phase onset  [cached]
E. G. Bradshaw,M. Lester,T. B. Jones
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2003,
Abstract: The irregularity velocity patterns observed by the SABRE coherent radar at substorm expansion phase onset, which is identified by magnetometer observations of Pi2 pulsations, are occasionally highly structured. In all the examples of structured velocity patterns examined, the SABRE viewing area is located at longitudes within the inferred substorm current wedge. Three types of structured velocity regime are apparent depending on the level of magnetic activity and the position of the radar viewing area relative to the substorm enhanced currents and the Pi2 pulsation generation region. Firstly, vortex-like velocity patterns are observed and these may be caused by the field-aligned currents associated with the substorm current wedge. Secondly, regions of equatorward velocity are also observed at times of substorm expansion phase onset moving longitudinally across the SABRE viewing area. The longitudinal movement is usually westward although an example of eastward motion has been observed. The phase velocity of these regions of equatorward flow is typically 1-3 km s-1. The observed equatorward velocities occur at the poleward edge or poleward of the background convection velocities observed by SABRE. These equatorward velocities may be related to the westward travelling surge and to the expansion (eastwards as well as westwards) of the brightening arc region at substorm onset. Thirdly, the flow rotates equatorward within the field of view but does not then appear to move longitudinally. These equatorward velocities may relate to the earthward surge of plasma from the magnetotail at substorm onset.
Method to locate the polar cap boundary in the nightside ionosphere and application to a substorm event
A. T. Aikio, T. Pitk nen, A. Kozlovsky,O. Amm
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2006,
Abstract: In this paper we describe a new method to be used for the polar cap boundary (PCB) determination in the nightside ionosphere by using the EISCAT Svalbard radar (ESR) field-aligned measurements by the 42-m antenna and southward directed low-elevation measurements by the ESR 32 m antenna or northward directed low-elevation measurements by the EISCAT VHF radar at Troms . The method is based on increased electron temperature (Te) caused by precipitating particles on closed field lines. Since the Svalbard field-aligned measurement provides the reference polar cap Te height profile, the method can be utilised only when the PCB is located between Svalbard and the mainland. Comparison with the Polar UVI images shows that the radar-based method is generally in agreement with the PAE (poleward auroral emission) boundary from Polar UVI. The new technique to map the polar cap boundary was applied to a substorm event on 6 November 2002. Simultaneous measurements by the MIRACLE magnetometers enabled us to put the PCB location in the framework of ionospheric electrojets. During the substorm growth phase, the polar cap expands and the region of the westward electrojet shifts gradually more apart from the PCB. The substorm onset takes place deep within the region of closed magnetic field region, separated by about 6–7° in latitude from the PCB in the ionosphere. We interpret the observations in the framework of the near-Earth neutral line (NENL) model of substorms. After the substorm onset, the reconnection at the NENL reaches within 3 min the open-closed field line boundary and then the PCB moves poleward together with the poleward boundary of the substorm current wedge. The poleward expansion occurs in the form of individual bursts, which are separated by 2–10 min, indicating that the reconnection in the magnetotail neutral line is impulsive. The poleward expansions of the PCB are followed by latitude dispersed intensifications in the westward electrojet with high latitudes affected first and lower latitudes later. We suggest that reconnection bursts energize plasma and produce enhanced flows toward the Earth. While drifting earthward, part of the plasma population precipitates to the ionosphere producing latitude-dispersed enhancements in the WEJ. Full Article (PDF, 5878 KB) Citation: Aikio, A. T., Pitk nen, T., Kozlovsky, A., and Amm, O.: Method to locate the polar cap boundary in the nightside ionosphere and application to a substorm event, Ann. Geophys., 24, 1905-1917, doi:10.5194/angeo-24-1905-2006, 2006. Bibtex EndNote Reference Manager XML
Dual source populations of substorm-associated ring current ions
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2009,
Abstract: Sources of low-energy ring current ions in the early morning sector (eastward drifting energy domain of about <5 keV) are examined using both statistical analyses and numerical tracing methods (phase-space mapping and simulation). In about 90% of Cluster perigee traversals at 02~07 local time, these low-energy ring current ions have dual ion populations: one is wedge-like energy-dispersed ions, and the other is a band-like ions over different latitudes in a narrow energy range at the upper energy threshold of the wedge-like energy-dispersed ions. Both components are most likely created during past substorm activities. Numerical tracing results strongly suggest that these two components have different sources with different temperatures and elapsed times. The band-like part most likely comes from ions with plasma sheet temperature (~1 keV), and the energy-dispersed part most likely comes from cold ions (temperature <0.1 keV). The source density of the cold component (0.2~0.5×106/m3) is slightly less than that of the hot component (0.5×106/m3), while Cluster observation shows slightly higher density for the wedge-like part than the low-energy band-like part. The hot source component also explains the observed high-energy (>10 keV) ions drifting westward after adiabatic energization in the nightside under time-varying electric field. The wedge-like part has much shorter elapsed time, i.e., less charge-exchange loss, than the band-like part.
Near-Earth magnetic signature of magnetospheric substorms and an improved substorm current model
P. Ritter ,H. Lühr
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2008,
Abstract: Based on a comprehensive catalogue with more than 4000 magnetospheric substorm entries from the years 2000–2005, the spatial distribution of the substorm-related magnetic signatures at mid and low latitudes around local midnight was investigated. Superposed epoch analysis of a larger number of recent observatory data from mid and low latitudes revealed a field strength increase that is consistent with the results of earlier studies. For the first time, the magnetic signature of the substorm current wedge formation is studied also in near-Earth satellite data from CHAMP. The average maximal deflection measured on board the satellite is smaller by a factor of 2 than that determined from ground observations. The recurrence frequency of substorms as well as the amplitude of their magnetic signature depends strongly on the prevailing magnetic activity. The observed average substorm-related magnetic field signatures cannot be described adequately by a simple current wedge model. A satisfactory agreement between model results and observations at satellite height and on ground can be achieved only if the current reconfiguration scenario combines four elements: (1) the gradual decrease of the tail lobe field, (2) the re-routing of a part of the cross-tail current through the ionosphere, (3) eastward ionospheric currents at low and mid latitudes driven by Region-2 field-aligned currents, and (4) a partial ring current connected to these Region-2 FACs.
Solar wind and substorm excitation of the wavy current sheet
C. Forsyth, M. Lester, R. C. Fear, E. Lucek, I. Dandouras, A. N. Fazakerley, H. Singer,T. K. Yeoman
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2009,
Abstract: Following a solar wind pressure pulse on 3 August 2001, GOES 8, GOES 10, Cluster and Polar observed dipolarizations of the magnetic field, accompanied by an eastward expansion of the aurora observed by IMAGE, indicating the occurrence of two substorms. Prior to the first substorm, the motion of the plasma sheet with respect to Cluster was in the ZGSM direction. Observations following the substorms show the occurrence of current sheet waves moving predominantly in the YGSM direction. Following the second substorm, the current sheet waves caused multiple current sheet crossings of the Cluster spacecraft, previously studied by Zhang et al. (2002). We further this study to show that the velocity of the current sheet waves was similar to the expansion velocity of the substorm aurora and the expansion of the dipolarization regions in the magnetotail. Furthermore, we compare these results with the current sheet wave models of Golovchanskaya and Maltsev (2005) and Erkaev et al. (2008). We find that the Erkaev et al. (2008) model gives the best fit to the observations.
Substorm behavior of the auroral electrojet indices
J. W. Gjerloev, R. A. Hoffman, M. M. Friel, L. A. Frank,J. B. Sigwarth
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2004,
Abstract: The behavior of the auroral electrojet indices AU and AL during classical substorms is investigated by the use of global auroral images. A superposition of the 12 AE stations onto global auroral images and identification of the AL and AU contributing stations enable an understanding of the temporal as well as spatial behavior of the indices with respect to the substorm coordinate system and timeframe. Based on this simple technique it was found that at substorm onset the AL contributing station makes a characteristic jump from a location near the dawn terminator to the onset region, typically bypassing one or more AE stations. During the expansion phase this station typically lies at the poleward edge of the surge region. This is the location of the intense substorm current wedge electrojet in the semiempirical self-consistent substorm model of the three-dimensional current system by Gjerloev and Hoffman (2002). This current wedge is fed primarily pre-midnight by an imbalance of the Region 0 and Region 1 field-aligned currents, not from the dawnside westward electrojet. Then during the early recovery phase the AL contributing station jumps back to the dawn sector. The defining AU station does not show any similar systematic behavior. We also find that the dawn side westward electrojet seems to be unaffected by the introduction of the substorm current wedge. According to our model, much of this current is closed to the magnetosphere as it approaches midnight from dawn. Based on the characteristics of the AL station jumps, the behavior of the dawn-side electrojet, and the understanding of the three-dimensional substorm current system from our model, we provide additional experimental evidence for, and an understanding of, the concept of the two component westward electrojet, as suggested by Kamide and Kokubun (1996).
Observations of kinetic Alfvén waves by THEMIS near a substorm onset
SuPing Duan,ZhenXing Liu,Vassilis Angelopoulos
Chinese Science Bulletin , 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s11434-012-4973-x
Abstract: Low frequency electromagnetic fluctuations in the vicinity of a magnetospheric substorm onset were investigated using simultaneous observations by THEMIS multiple probes in the near-Earth plasma sheet in the magnetotail. The observations indicate that in the vicinity of a substorm onset, kinetic Alfvén waves can be excited in the high-β plasma sheet (β=2μ0 nT/B 2, the ratio of plasma thermal pressure to magnetic pressure) within the near-Earth magnetotail. The kinetic Alfvén wave has a small spatial scale in the high-β plasma. The parallel electric field accompanying kinetic Alfvén waves accelerates the charged particles along the magnetic field. The kinetic Alfvén waves play an important role in the substorm trigger process, and possibly in the formation of a substorm current wedge.
Energy dissipation during a small substorm  [cached]
A. Belehaki,H. Mavromichalaki,D. V. Sarafopoulos,E. T. Sarris
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2003,
Abstract: The relative importance of the two most likely modes of input energy dissipation during the substorm of 8 May 1986, with an onset at 12:15 UT (CDAW 9E event), is examined here. The combination of data from the interplanetary medium, the magnetotail and the ground allowed us, first of all, to establish the sequence of phenomena which compose this substorm. In order to calculate the magnetospheric energetics we have improved the Akasofu model, by adding two more terms for the total magnetospheric output energy. The first one represents the energy consumed for the substorm current wedge transformation, supplied by the asymmetric ring current. This was found to be 39% of the solar wind energy entering the magnetosphere from the start of the growth phase up to the end of the expansion phase. The second term represents the energy stored in the tail or returned to the solar wind. Our results suggest that the substorm leaves the magnetosphere in a lower energy state, since, according to our calculations, 23% of the energy that entered the magnetosphere during the whole disturbance was returned back to the solar wind. Finally, it is interesting to note that during the growth phase the driven system grow considerably, consuming 36% of the solar wind energy which entered the magnetosphere during this early phase of the substorm.
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