Giant pulsations on the afternoonside: Geostationary satellite and ground observations

Giant pulsations (Pgs) are a special class of oscillations recognized in ground magnetometer records as exhibiting highly regular sinusoidal waveforms in the east-west component with periods around 100s. Previous statistical studies showed that Pgs occur almost exclusively on the morningside with peak occurrence in the postmidnight sector. In this paper, we present observations of Pgs extending to the afternoonside, using data from the GOES13 and 15 geostationary satellites and multiple ground magnetometers located in North America. For a long-lasting event on 29 February 2012, which spanned \~08\textendash18h magnetic local time, we show that basic Pg properties did not change with the local time, although the period of the pulsations was longer at later local time due to increasing mass loading. There is evidence that the Pgs resulted from fundamental poloidal mode standing Alfv\ en waves, both on the morning and afternoonsides. Oscillations of energetic particles associated with the field oscillations exhibited an energy-dependent phase, which has previously been reported and explained by drift resonance. A statistical analysis of the ground magnetic field data (L = 3.8\textendash7.4) covering 2008\textendash2013 confirms that afternoon Pgs are not unusual. We identified a total of 105 Pg events (about 70\% (30\%) of the events occurred during non-storm (late storm recovery) periods), 31 of which occurred on the afternoonside. The afternoon Pgs occur under solar wind and geomagnetic conditions that are similar to the morning Pgs, but the afternoon Pgs tend to have short durations and occur frequently in winter instead of around spring and fall equinoxes that are favored by the morning Pgs.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages
Date Published