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Found 7 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 7


Storm-time convection dynamics viewed from optical auroras

A series of statistical and event studies have demonstrated that the motion of patches in regions of Patchy Pulsating Aurora (PPA) is very close to, if not exactly, convection. Therefore, 2D maps of PPA motion provide us the opportunity to remotely sense magnetospheric convection with relatively high space and time resolution, subject to uncertainties associated with the mapping between the ionosphere and magnetosphere. In this study, we use THEMIS ASI (All Sky Imager) aurora observations combined with RBSP electric field and magnetic field measurements to explore convection dynamics during storm time. From 0500 UT to 0600 UT on March 19 2015, auroral observations across ~4 h of magnetic local time (MLT) show that increases in the westward velocities of patches are closely related to earthward flow bursts in the inner plasma sheet. Together with the meridian scanning photometer (MSP) data, this suggests that the increase in the westward velocities of PPA patches is caused by earthward-moving ion injection structures carried by the fast earthward flows.

Yang, Bing; Donovan, Eric; Liang, Jun; Ruohoniemi, Michael; McWilliams, Kathryn; Spanswick, Emma;

Published by: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics      Published on: 10/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2019.105088

Auroral streamer; convection; Fast earthward flows; pulsating aurora; Van Allen Probes

Multi-instrument Observations of Mesoscale Enhancement of Subauroral Polarization Stream Associated With an Injection

Subauroral polarization streams (SAPS) prefer geomagnetically disturbed conditions and strongly correlate with geomagnetic indexes. However, the temporal evolution of SAPS and its relationship with dynamic and structured ring current and particle injection are still not well understood. In this study, we performed detailed analysis of temporal evolution of SAPS during a moderate storm on 18 May 2013 using conjugate observations of SAPS from the Van Allen Probes (VAP) and the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN). The large-scale SAPS (LS-SAPS) formed during the main phase of this storm and decayed due to the northward turning of the interplanetary magnetic field. A mesoscale (approximately several hundreds of kilometers zonally) enhancement of SAPS was observed by SuperDARN at 0456 UT. In the conjugate magnetosphere, a large SAPS electric field (\~8 mV/m) pointing radially outward, a local magnetic field dip, and a dispersionless ion injection were observed simultaneously by VAP-A at L shell = 3.5 and MLT = 20. The particle injection observed by VAP-A is likely associated with the particle injection observed by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 15 near 20 MLT. Magnetic perturbations observed by the ground magnetometers and flow reversals observed by SuperDARN reveal that this mesoscale enhancement of SAPS developed near the Harang reversal and before the substorm onset. The observed complex signatures in both space and ground can be explained by a two-loop current wedge generated by the perturbed plasma pressure gradient and the diamagnetic effect of the structured ring current following particle injection.

Wang, Zihan; Zou, Shasha; Shepherd, Simon; Liang, Jun; Gjerloev, Jesper; Ruohoniemi, Michael; Kunduri, Bharat; Wygant, John;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026535

Field-Aligned Current; Particle Injection; Sub-auroral Polarization Stream; Van Allen Probes


Dense plasma and Kelvin-Helmholtz waves at Earth\textquoterights dayside magnetopause

Spacecraft observations of boundary waves at the dayside terrestrial magnetopause and their ground-based signatures are presented. Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft measured boundary waves at the magnetopause while ground-based HF radar measured corresponding signatures in the ionosphere indicating a large-scale response and tailward propagating waves. The properties of the oscillations are consistent with linear phase Kelvin-Helmholtz waves along the magnetopause boundary. During this time period multiple THEMIS spacecraft also measured a plasmaspheric plume contacting the local magnetopause and mass loading the boundary. Previous work has demonstrated that increasing the density at the magnetopause can lower the efficiency of reconnection. Extending this further, present observations suggest that a plume can modulate instability processes such as the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability and allow them to form closer to the subsolar point along the magnetopause than without a plume. The current THEMIS observations from 21 September 2010 are consistent with a theory which predicts that increasing the density at the boundary will lower the Kelvin-Helmholtz threshold and allow waves to form for a lower velocity shear.

Walsh, B.; Thomas, E.; Hwang, K.-J.; Baker, J.; Ruohoniemi, J.; Bonnell, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 07/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021014

Kelvin-Helmholtz; magnetopause

Azimuthal flow bursts in the Inner Plasma Sheet and Possible Connection with SAPS and Plasma Sheet Earthward Flow Bursts

We have combined radar observations and auroral images obtained during the PFISR Ion Neutral Observations in the Thermosphere campaign to show the common occurrence of westward moving, localized auroral brightenings near the auroral equatorward boundary and to show their association with azimuthally moving flow bursts near or within the SAPS region. These results indicate that the SAPS region, rather than consisting of relatively stable proton precipitation and westward flows, can have rapidly varying flows, with speeds varying from ~100 m/s to ~1 km/s in just a few minutes. The auroral brightenings are associated with bursts of weak electron precipitation that move westward with the westward flow bursts and extend into the SAPS region. Additionally, our observations show evidence that the azimuthally moving flow bursts often connect to earthward (equatorward in the ionosphere) plasma sheet flow bursts. This indicates that rather than stopping or bouncing, some flow bursts turn azimuthally after reaching the inner plasma sheet and lead to the bursts of strong azimuthal flow. Evidence is also seen for a general guiding of the flow bursts by the large-scale convection pattern, flow bursts within the duskside convection being azimuthally turned to the west and those within the dawn cell being turned toward the east. The possibility that the SAPS-region flow structures considered here may be connected to localized flow enhancements from the polar cap that cross the nightside auroral poleward boundary and lead to flow bursts within the plasma sheet warrants further consideration.

Lyons, L.; Nishimura, Y.; Gallardo-Lacourt, B.; Nicolls, M.; Chen, S.; Hampton, D.; Bristow, W.; Ruohoniemi, J.; Nishitani, N.; Donovan, E.; Angelopoulos, V.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021023

aurora; convection; Flow bursts; plasma sheet; SAPS; streamers

Direct observations of the full Dungey convection cycle in the polar ionosphere for southward interplanetary magnetic field conditions

Tracking the formation and full evolution of polar cap ionization patches in the polar ionosphere, we directly observe the full Dungey convection cycle for southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions. This enables us to study how the Dungey cycle influences the patches\textquoteright evolution. The patches were initially segmented from the dayside storm enhanced density plume (SED) at the equatorward edge of the cusp, by the expansion and contraction of the polar cap boundary (PCB) due to pulsed dayside magnetopause reconnection, as indicated by in-situ THEMIS observations. Convection led to the patches entering the polar cap and being transported antisunward, whilst being continuously monitored by the globally distributed arrays of GPS receivers and SuperDARN radars. Changes in convection over time resulted in the patches following a range of trajectories, each of which differed somewhat from the classical twin-cell convection streamlines. Pulsed nightside reconnection, occurring as part of the magnetospheric substorm cycle, modulated the exit of the patches from the polar cap, as confirmed by coordinated observations of the magnetometer at Troms\o and EISCAT Troms\o UHF Radar. After exiting the polar cap, the patches broke up into a number of plasma blobs, and returned sunward in the auroral return flow of the dawn and/or dusk convection cell. The full circulation time was about three hours.

Zhang, Q.; Lockwood, M.; Foster, J.; Zhang, S.; Zhang, B.; McCrea, I.; Moen, J.; Lester, M.; Ruohoniemi, Michael;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021172

Dungey convection cycle; EISCAT radar; GPS TEC; polar cap patches

Modeling sub-auroral polarization streams (SAPS) during the March 17, 2013 storm

The sub-auroral polarization streams (SAPS) are one of the most important features in representing magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling processes. In this study, we use a state-of-the-art modeling framework that couples an inner magnetospheric ring current model RAM-SCB with a global MHD model BATS-R-US and an ionospheric potential solver to study the SAPS that occurred during the March 17, 2013 storm event as well as to assess the modeling capability. Both ionospheric and magnetospheric signatures associated with SAPS are analyzed to understand the spatial and temporal evolution of the electrodynamics in the mid-latitude regions. Results show that the model captures the SAPS at sub-auroral latitudes, where Region-2 field-aligned currents (FACs) flow down to the ionosphere and the conductance is lower than in the higher-latitude auroral zone. Comparisons to observations such as FACs observed by AMPERE, cross-track ion drift from DMSP, and in-situ electric field observations from the Van Allen Probes indicate that the model generally reproduces the global dynamics of the Region-2 FACs, the position of SAPS along the DMSP, and the location of the SAPS electric field around L of 3.0 in the inner magnetosphere near the equator. While the model demonstrates double westward flow channels in the dusk sector (the higher-latitude auroral convection and the sub-auroral SAPS) and captures the mechanism of the SAPS, the comparison with ion drifts along DMSP trajectories shows an underestimate of the magnitude of the SAPS and the sensitivity to the specific location and time. The comparison of the SAPS electric field with that measured from the Van Allen Probes shows that the simulated SAPS electric field penetrates deeper than in reality, implying that the shielding from the Region-2 FACs in the model is not well represented. Possible solutions in future studies to improve the modeling capability include implementing a self-consistent ionospheric conductivity module from particle precipitation, coupling with the thermosphere-ionosphere chemical processes, and connecting the ionosphere with the inner magnetosphere by the stronger Region-2 FACs calculated in the inner magnetosphere model.

Yu, Yiqun; Jordanova, Vania; Zou, Shasha; Heelis, Roderick; Ruohoniemi, Mike; Wygant, John;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 02/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020371

sub-auroral polarization streams; Van Allen Probes


An examination of the source of decameter-scale irregularities in the geomagnetically disturbed mid-latitude ionosphere

We present first results from a study of the plasma instability mechanism responsible for the small-scale (\~10 m) ionospheric density irregularities commonly observed by the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) HF radars in the vicinity of Sub Auroral Polarization Streams (SAPS) during periods of geomagnetic disturbance. A focus is placed on the mid-latitude region of the ionosphere over North America where recent expansion of the SuperDARN network allows for extensive direct comparisons with total electron content (TEC) measurements from a dense network of ground-based GPS receivers. The TEC observations indicate that high-speed SAPS channels and the associated small-scale irregularities are typically located within the mid-latitude ionospheric trough. The Millstone Hill Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR), operating in campaign mode in support of the NASA Van Allen Probes mission, provided measurements of F region ion/electron density, velocity, and temperature suitable for identifying potential mechanisms of plasma instability during a SAPS event that extended over 12 hours of magnetic local time (MLT) on 2 February 2013. Previous work has indicated that the density gradients associated with the poleward wall of the mid-latitude trough can produce small-scale irregularities due to the gradient drift instability during quiet periods by cascade from larger-scale structures. In this study we demonstrate that the gradient drift instability is a viable source for the direct generation of the small-scale irregularities observed by SuperDARN radars in the mid-latitude ionosphere during geomagnetically disturbed conditions.

Thomas, Evan; Yan, Jingye; Zhang, Jiaojiao; Baker, Joseph; Ruohoniemi, Michael; Hoskawa, Keisuke; Erickson, Philip; Coster, Anthea; Foster, John;

Published by:       Published on: 08/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929853

Ionosphere; Plasmas; SUPERDARN; Van Allen Probes