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Found 16 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 16


Superposed Epoch Analysis of Dispersionless Particle Injections Inside Geosynchronous Orbit

AbstractDispersionless injections, involving sudden, simultaneous flux enhancements of energetic particles over some broad range of energy, are a characteristic signature of the particles that are experiencing a significant acceleration and/or rapid inward transport at the leading edge of injections. We have statistically analyzed data from Van Allen Probes (also known as RBSP ) to reveal where the proton (H+) and electron (e–) dispersionless injections occur preferentially inside geosynchronous orbit and how they develop depending on local magnetic field changes. By surveying measurements of RBSP during four tail seasons in 2012–2019, we have identified 171 dispersionless injection events. Most of the events, which are accompanied by local magnetic dipolarizations, occur in the dusk-to-midnight sector, regardless of particle species. Out of the selected 171 events, 75 events exhibit dispersionless injections of both H+ and e–, which occur within 2 minutes of each other. With only three exceptions, the both-species injection events are further divided into two main subgroups: One is the H+ preceding e– events with a time offset of tens of seconds between H+ and e–, and the other the concurrent H+ and e– events without any time offset. Our superposed epoch results raise the intriguing possibility that the presence or absence of a pronounced negative dip in the local magnetic field ahead of the concurrent sharp dipolarization determines which of the two subgroups will occur. The difference between the two subgroups may be explained in terms of the dawn-dusk asymmetry of localized diamagnetic perturbations ahead of a deeply-penetrating dipolarization front.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Motoba, T.; Ohtani, S.; Gkioulidou, M.; Ukhorskiy, A; Lanzerotti, L.; Claudepierre, S.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 07/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Dispersionless injections; substorms; inner magnetosphere; Van Allen Probes

Van Allen probe observations of disappearance, recovery and patchiness of plasmaspheric hiss following two consecutive interplanetary shocks: First results

Abstract We present, for the first time, a plasmaspheric hiss event observed by the Van Allen probes in response to two successive interplanetary shocks occurring within an interval of ∼2 hours on December 19, 2015. The first shock arrived at 16:16 UT and caused disappearance of hiss for ∼30 minutes. Combined effect of plasmapause crossing, significant Landau damping by suprathermal electrons and their gradual removal by magnetospheric compression led to the disappearance of hiss. Calculation of electron phase space density and linear wave growth rates showed that the shock did not change the growth rate of whistler waves within the core frequency range of plasmaspheric hiss (0.1 - 0.5 kHz) during this interval making conditions unfavorable for the generation of hiss. The recovery began at ∼16:45 UT which is attributed to an enhancement in local plasma instability initiated by the first shock-induced substorm and additional possible contribution from chorus waves. This time, the wave growth rate peaked within the core frequency range ( ∼350 Hz). The second shock arrived at 18:02 UT and generated patchy hiss persisting up to ∼19:00 UT. It is shown that an enhanced growth rate and additional contribution from shock-induced poloidal Pc5 mode (periodicity ∼240 sec) ULF waves resulted in the excitation of hiss waves during this period. The hiss wave amplitudes were found to be additionally modulated by background plasma density and fluctuating plasmapause location. The investigation highlights the important roles of interplanetary shocks, substorms, ULF waves and background plasma density in the variability of plasmaspheric hiss.

Chakraborty, S.; Chakrabarty, D.; Reeves, G.; Baker, D.; Claudepierre, S.; Breneman, A.; Hartley, D.; Larsen, B.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Plasmaspheric Hiss; Van Allen Probe; Interplanetary shocks; substorms; Whistlers; ULF waves; Van Allen Probes

Challenging the Use of Ring Current Indices During Geomagnetic Storms

Abstract The ring current experiences dramatic enhancements during geomagnetic storms, however understanding the global distribution of ring current energy content is restricted by spacecraft coverage. Many studies use ring current indices as a proxy for energy content, but these indices average over spatial variations and include additional contributions. We have conducted an analysis of Van Allen Probes’ data, identifying the spatial distribution and storm-time variations of energy content. Ion observations from the HOPE and RBSPICE instruments were used to estimate energy content in L-MLT bins. The results show large enhancements particularly in the premidnight sector during the main phase, alongside reductions in local time asymmetry and intensity during the recovery phase. A comparison with estimated energy content using the Sym-H index was conducted. In agreement with previous results, the Sym-H index significantly overestimates (by up to ∼ 4 times) the energy content, and we attribute the difference to contributions from additional current systems. A new finding is an observed temporal discrepancy, where energy content estimates from the Sym-H index maximise 3 to 9 hours earlier than in situ observations. Case studies reveal a complex relationship, where variable degrees of agreement between the Sym-H index and in situ measurements are observed. The results highlight the drawbacks of ring current indices and emphasise the variability of the storm time ring current.

Sandhu, J.; Rae, I.; Walach, M.-T.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 01/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

ring current; Geomagnetic storms; Van Allen Probes; inner magnetosphere; substorms


Dynamic Properties of Particle Injections Inside Geosynchronous Orbit: A Multisatellite Case Study

Four closely located satellites at and inside geosynchronous orbit (GEO) provided a great opportunity to study the dynamical evolution and spatial scale of premidnight energetic particle injections inside GEO during a moderate substorm on 23 December 2016. Just following the substorm onset, the four spacecraft, a LANL satellite at GEO, the two Van Allen Probes (also called “RBSP”) at ~5.8 RE, and a THEMIS satellite at ~5.3 RE, observed substorm-related particle injections and local dipolarizations near the central meridian (~22 MLT) of a wedge-like current system. The large-scale evolution of the electron and ion (H, He, and O) injections was almost identical at the two RBSP spacecraft with ~0.5 RE apart. However, the initial short-timescale particle injections exhibited a striking difference between RBSP-A and -B: RBSP-B observed an energy dispersionless injection which occurred concurrently with a transient, strong dipolarization front (DF) with a peak-to-peak amplitude of ~25 nT over ~25 s; RBSP-A measured a dispersed/weaker injection with no corresponding DF. The spatiotemporally localized DF was accompanied by an impulsive, westward electric field (~20 mV m−1). The fast, impulsive E × B drift caused the radial transport of the electron and ion injection regions from GEO to ~5.8 RE. The penetrating DF fields significantly altered the rapid energy- and pitch angle-dependent flux changes of the electrons and the H and He ions inside GEO. Such flux distributions could reflect the transient DF-related particle acceleration and/or transport processes occurring inside GEO. In contrast, O ions were little affected by the DF fields.

Motoba, T.; Ohtani, S.; Claudepierre, S.; Reeves, G.; Ukhorskiy, A; Lanzerotti, L.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

deep particle injections; dipolarizations; substorms; localized DF; Van Allen Probes

Correlations Between Dispersive Alfvén Wave Activity, Electron Energization, and Ion Outflow in the Inner Magnetosphere

Using measurements from the Van Allen Probes, we show that field-aligned fluxes of electrons energized by dispersive Alfvén waves (DAWs) are prominent in the inner magnetosphere during active conditions. These electrons have preferentially field-aligned anisotropies from 1.2 to >2 at energies ranging from tens of electron volts to several kiloelectron volts (keV), with largest values being coincident with magnetic field dipolarizations. Comparisons reveal that DAW energy densities and Poynting fluxes are strongly correlated with precipitating electron energies and energy fluxes and also O+ ion outflow energies. These observations yield empirical inner magnetosphere relations between the DAW and electron inputs and the O+ ion outflow response, providing important constraints for models. They also suggest that DAWs play an important role in enhancing field-aligned electron input into the ionosphere that facilitates the outflow and subsequent energization of O+ ions in the wave fields into the inner magnetosphere.

Hull, A.; Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Damiano, P.; Wygant, J.; Reeves, G.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

dispersive Alfvén waves; field-aligned electrons; inner magnetosphere; oxygen ion outflow; Geomagnetic storms; substorms; Van Allen Probes


Substorm-Ring Current Coupling: A Comparison of Isolated and Compound Substorms

Substorms are a highly variable process, which can occur as an isolated event or as part of a sequence of multiple substorms (compound substorms). In this study we identify how the low-energy population of the ring current and subsequent energization varies for isolated substorms compared to the first substorm of a compound event. Using observations of H+ and O+ ions (1 eV to 50 keV) from the Helium Oxygen Proton Electron instrument onboard Van Allen Probe A, we determine the energy content of the ring current in L-MLT space. We observe that the ring current energy content is significantly enhanced during compound substorms as compared to isolated substorms by \~20\textendash30\%. Furthermore, we observe a significantly larger magnitude of energization (by \~40\textendash50\%) following the onset of compound substorms relative to isolated substorms. Analysis suggests that the differences predominantly arise due to a sustained enhancement in dayside driving associated with compound substorms compared to isolated substorms. The strong solar wind driving prior to onset results in important differences in the time history of the magnetosphere, generating significantly different ring current conditions and responses to substorms. The observations reveal information about the substorm injected population and the transport of the plasma in the inner magnetosphere.

Sandhu, J.; Rae, I.; Freeman, M.; Gkioulidou, M.; Forsyth, C.; Reeves, G.; Murphy, K.; Walach, M.-T.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 08/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026766

inner magnetosphere; ring current; substorms; Van Allen; Van Allen Probes

Global Empirical Picture of Magnetospheric Substorms Inferred From Multimission Magnetometer Data

Magnetospheric substorms represent key explosive processes in the interaction of the Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere with the solar wind, and their understanding and modeling are critical for space weather forecasting. During substorms, the magnetic field on the nightside is first stretched in the antisunward direction and then it rapidly contracts earthward bringing hot plasmas from the distant space regions into the inner magnetosphere, where they contribute to geomagnetic storms and Joule dissipation in the polar ionosphere, causing impressive splashes of aurora. Here we show for the first time that mining millions of spaceborne magnetometer data records from multiple missions allows one to reconstruct the global 3-D picture of these stretching and dipolarization processes. Stretching results in the formation of a thin (less than the Earth\textquoterights radius) and strong current sheet, which is diverted into the ionosphere during dipolarization. In the meantime, the dipolarization signal propagates further into the inner magnetosphere resulting in the accumulation of a longer lived current there, giving rise to a protogeomagnetic storm. The global 3-D structure of the corresponding substorm currents including the substorm current wedge is reconstructed from data.

Stephens, G.; Sitnov, M.; Korth, H.; Tsyganenko, N.; Ohtani, S.; Gkioulidou, M.; Ukhorskiy, A;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 01/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025843

Current sheet thinning; Data-mining; Magnetotail dipolarization; Storm-substorm relationship; substorm current wedge; substorms; Van Allen Probes


Energisation of the ring current by substorms

The substorm process releases large amounts of energy into the magnetospheric system, although where the energy is transferred to and how it is partitioned remains an open question. In this study, we address whether the substorm process contributes a significant amount of energy to the ring current. The ring current is a highly variable region, and understanding the energisation processes provides valuable insight into how substorm - ring current coupling may contribute to the generation of storm conditions and provide a source of energy for wave driving. In order to quantify the energy input into the ring current during the substorm process, we analyse RBSPICE and HOPE ion flux measurements for H+, O+, and He+. The energy content of the ring current is estimated and binned spatially for L and MLT. The results are combined with an independently derived substorm event list to perform a statistical analysis of variations in the ring current energy content with substorm phase. We show that the ring current energy is significantly higher in the expansion phase compared to the growth phase, with the energy enhancement persisting into the substorm recovery phase. The characteristics of the energy enhancement suggest the injection of energised ions from the tail plasma sheet following substorm onset. The local time variations indicate a loss of energetic H+ ions in the afternoon sector, likely due to wave-particle interactions. Overall, we find that the average energy input into the ring current is \~9\% of the previously reported energy released during substorms.

Sandhu, J.; Rae, I.; Freeman, M.; Forsyth, C.; Gkioulidou, M.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Jackman, C.; Lam, M.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025766

BSPICE; HOPE; Magnetosphere; ring current; substorms; Van Allen Probes

Spatial Development of the Dipolarization Region in the Inner Magnetosphere

The present study examines dipolarization events observed by the Van Allen Probes within 5.8 RE from Earth. It is found that the probability of occurrence is significantly higher in the dusk-to-midnight sector than in the midnight-to-dawn sector, and it deceases sharply earthward. A comparison with observations made at nearby satellites shows that dipolarization signatures are often highly correlated (c.c. > 0.8) within 1 hr in MLT and 1 RE in RXY, and the dipolarization region expands earthward and westward in the dusk-to-midnight sector. The westward expansion velocity is estimated at 0.4 hr (in MLT) per minute, or 60 km/s, which is consistent with the previously reported result for geosynchronous dipolarization. The earthward expansion is apparently less systematic than the westward expansion. Its velocity is estimated at 50 km/s (0.5 RE/min), comparable to the westward expansion velocity, but it is suggested that the earthward expansion slows down as the dipolarization region approaches Earth, and it eventually stops. This idea is consistent with the earthward reduction of the occurrence probability of dipolarization events. Whereas this earthward expansion is difficult to explain with the conventional wedge current system, it may be understood in terms of a current system with two wedges, one with the R1 polarity outside and the other with the R2 polarity closer to Earth. For such a current system the region of dipolarization is confined in radial distance between the two wedge currents, and it is considered to expand earthward as the R2-sense wedge moves earthward along with injected plasma.

Ohtani, S.; Motoba, T.; Gkioulidou, M.; Takahashi, K.; Singer, H.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 06/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025443

Dipolarization; injection; inner magnetosphere; R1 and R2 currents; substorm current wedge; substorms; Van Allen Probes


Multipoint observations of energetic particle injections and substorm activity during a conjunction between Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Van Allen Probes

This study examines multipoint observations during a conjunction between MMS and Van Allen Probes on 07 April 2016 in which a series of energetic particle injections occurred. With complementary data from THEMIS, Geotail, and LANL-GEO (16 spacecraft in total), we develop new insights on the nature of energetic particle injections associated with substorm activity. Despite this case involving only weak substorm activity (max. AE < 300 nT) during quiet geomagnetic conditions in steady, below-average solar wind, a complex series of at least six different electron injections was observed throughout the system. Intriguingly, only one corresponding ion injection was clearly observed. All ion and electron injections were observed at < 600 keV only. MMS reveals detailed substructure within the largest electron injection. A relationship between injected electrons with energy < 60 keV and enhanced whistler-mode chorus wave activity is also established from Van Allen Probes and MMS. Drift mapping using a simplified magnetic field model provides estimates of the dispersionless injection boundary locations as a function of universal time, magnetic local time, and L-shell. The analysis reveals that at least five electron injections, which were localized in magnetic local time, preceded a larger injection of both electrons and ions across nearly the entire nightside of the magnetosphere near geosynchronous orbit. The larger, ion and electron injection did not penetrate to L < 6.6, but several of the smaller, electron injections penetrated to L < 6.6. Due to the discrepancy between the number, penetration depth, and complexity of electron vs. ion injections, this event presents challenges to the current conceptual models of energetic particle injections.

Turner, D.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Clemmons, J.; Jaynes, A.; Leonard, T.; Baker, D.; Cohen, I.; Gkioulidou, M.; Ukhorskiy, A; Mauk, B.; Gabrielse, C.; Angelopoulos, V.; Strangeway, R.; Kletzing, C.; Le Contel, O.; Spence, H.; Torbert, R.; Burch, J.; Reeves, G.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024554

energetic particles; injections; inner magnetosphere; plasma sheet; substorms; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions


Void structure of O + ions in the inner magnetosphere observed by the Van Allen Probes

The Van Allen Probes Helium Oxygen Proton Electron instrument observed a new type of enhancement of O+ ions in the inner magnetosphere during substorms. As the satellite moved outward in the premidnight sector, the flux of the O+ ions with energy ~10 keV appeared first in the energy-time spectrograms. Then, the enhancement of the flux spread toward high and low energies. The enhanced flux of the O+ ions with the highest energy remained, whereas the flux of the ions with lower energy vanished near apogee, forming what we call the void structure. The structure cannot be found in the H+ spectrogram. We studied the generation mechanism of this structure by using numerical simulation. We traced the trajectories of O+ ions in the electric and magnetic fields from the global magnetohydrodynamics simulation and calculated the flux of O+ ions in the inner magnetosphere in accordance with the Liouville theorem. The simulated spectrograms are well consistent with the ones observed by Van Allen Probes. We suggest the following processes. (1) When magnetic reconnection starts, an intensive equatorward and tailward plasma flow appears in the plasma lobe. (2) The flow transports plasma from the lobe to the plasma sheet where the radius of curvature of the magnetic field line is small. (3) The intensive dawn-dusk electric field transports the O+ ions earthward and accelerates them nonadiabatically to an energy threshold; (4) the void structure appears at energies below the threshold.

Nakayama, Y.; Ebihara, Y.; Ohtani, S.; Gkioulidou, M.; Takahashi, K.; Kistler, L.; Tanaka, T.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 11/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023013

injections; nonadiabatic acceleration; substorms; Van Allen Probes

A telescopic and microscopic examination of acceleration in the June 2015 geomagnetic storm: Magnetospheric Multiscale and Van Allen Probes study of substorm particle injection

An active storm period in June 2015 showed that particle injection events seen sequentially by the four (Magnetospheric Multiscale) MMS spacecraft subsequently fed the enhancement of the outer radiation belt observed by Van Allen Probes mission sensors. Several episodes of significant southward interplanetary magnetic field along with a period of high solar wind speed (Vsw ≳ 500 km/s) on 22 June occurred following strong interplanetary shock wave impacts on the magnetosphere. Key events on 22 June 2015 show that the magnetosphere progressed through a sequence of energy-loading and stress-developing states until the entire system suddenly reconfigured at 19:32 UT. Energetic electrons, plasma, and magnetic fields measured by the four MMS spacecraft revealed clear dipolarization front characteristics. It was seen that magnetospheric substorm activity provided a \textquotedblleftseed\textquotedblright electron population as observed by MMS particle sensors as multiple injections and related enhancements in electron flux.

Baker, D.; Jaynes, A.; Turner, D.; Nakamura, R.; Schmid, D.; Mauk, B.; Cohen, I.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Strangeway, R.; Russell, C.; Torbert, R.; Dorelli, J.; Gershman, D.; Giles, B.; Burch, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 06/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/grl.v43.1210.1002/2016GL069643

Magnetic reconnection; magnetospheres; Radiation belts; substorms; Van Allen Probes


Source and Seed Populations for Relativistic Electrons: Their Roles in Radiation Belt Changes

Strong enhancements of outer Van Allen belt electrons have been shown to have a clear dependence on solar wind speed and on the duration of southward interplanetary magnetic field. However, individual case study analyses also have demonstrated that many geomagnetic storms produce little in the way of outer belt enhancements and, in fact, may produce substantial losses of relativistic electrons. In this study, focused upon a key period in August-September 2014, we use GOES geostationary orbit electron flux data and Van Allen Probes particle and fields data to study the process of radiation belt electron acceleration. One particular interval, 13-22 September, initiated by a short-lived geomagnetic storm and characterized by a long period of primarily northward IMF, showed strong depletion of relativistic electrons (including an unprecedented observation of long-lasting depletion at geostationary orbit) while an immediately preceding, and another immediately subsequent, storm showed strong radiation belt enhancement. We demonstrate with these data that two distinct electron populations resulting from magnetospheric substorm activity are crucial elements in the ultimate acceleration of highly relativistic electrons in the outer belt: the source population (tens of keV) that give rise to VLF wave growth; and the seed population (hundreds of keV) that are, in turn, accelerated through VLF wave interactions to much higher energies. ULF waves may also play a role by either inhibiting or enhancing this process through radial diffusion effects. If any components of the inner magnetospheric accelerator happen to be absent, the relativistic radiation belt enhancement fails to materialize.

Jaynes, A.N.; Baker, D.N.; Singer, H.J.; Rodriguez, J.V.; Loto\textquoterightaniu, T.M.; Ali, A.; Elkington, S.R.; Li, X.; Kanekal, S.G.; Fennell, J.F.; Li, W.; Thorne, R.M.; Kletzing, C.A.; Spence, H.E.; Reeves, G.D.;

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

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021234

Radiation belts; relativistic electrons; substorms; ULF waves; Van Allen Probes; VLF waves

Correlated Pc4-5 ULF waves, whistler-mode chorus and pulsating aurora observed by the Van Allen Probes and ground-based systems

Theory and observations have linked equatorial VLF waves with pulsating aurora for decades, invoking the process of pitch-angle scattering of 10\textquoterights keV electrons in the equatorial magnetosphere. Recently published satellite studies have strengthened this argument, by showing strong correlation between pulsating auroral patches and both lower-band chorus and 10\textquoterights keV electron modulation in the vicinity of geosynchronous orbit. Additionally, a previous link has been made between Pc4-5 compressional pulsations and modulation of whistler-mode chorus using THEMIS. In the current study, we present simultaneous in-situ observations of structured chorus waves and an apparent field line resonance (in the Pc4-5 range) as a result of a substorm injection, observed by Van Allen Probes, along with ground-based observations of pulsating aurora. We demonstrate the likely scenario being one of substorm-driven Pc4-5 ULF pulsations modulating chorus waves, and thus providing the driver for pulsating particle precipitation into the Earth\textquoterights atmosphere. Interestingly, the modulated chorus wave and ULF wave periods are well correlated, with chorus occurring at half the periodicity of the ULF waves. We also show, for the first time, a particular few-Hz modulation of individual chorus elements that coincides with the same modulation in a nearby pulsating aurora patch. Such modulation has been noticed as a high-frequency component in ground-based camera data of pulsating aurora for decades, and may be a result of nonlinear chorus wave interactions in the equatorial region.

Jaynes, A.; Lessard, M.; Takahashi, K.; Ali, A.; Malaspina, D.; Michell, R.; Spanswick, E.; Baker, D.; Blake, J.; Cully, C.; Donovan, E.; Kletzing, C.; Reeves, G.; Samara, M.; Spence, H.; Wygant, J.;

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

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021380

aurora; precipitation; pulsating aurora; substorms; ULF waves; Van Allen Probes; VLF waves

Energetic electron injections deep into the inner magnetosphere associated with substorm activity

From a survey of the first nightside season of NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes mission (Dec/2012 \textendash Sep/2013), 47 energetic (10s to 100s of keV) electron injection events were found at L-shells <= 4, all of which are deeper than any previously reported substorm-related injections. Preliminary details from these events are presented, including how: all occurred shortly after dipolarization signatures and injections were observed at higher L-shells; the deepest observed injection was at L~2.5; and, surprisingly, L<=4 injections are limited in energy to <=250 keV. We present a detailed case study of one example event revealing that the injection of electrons down to L~3.5 was different from injections observed at higher L and likely resulted from drift resonance with a fast magnetosonic wave in the Pi 2 frequency range inside the plasmasphere. These observations demonstrate that injections occur at very low L-shells and may play an important role for inner zone electrons.

Turner, D.; Claudepierre, S.; Fennell, J.; O\textquoterightBrien, T.; Blake, J.; Lemon, C.; Gkioulidou, M.; Takahashi, K.; Reeves, G.; Thaller, S.; Breneman, A.; Wygant, J.; Li, W.; Runov, A.; Angelopoulos, V.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 02/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063225

energetic particle injections; inner magnetosphere; Radiation belts; substorms; THEMIS; Van Allen Probes


Testing a two-loop pattern of the substorm current wedge (SCW2L)

Recent quantitative testing of the classical (region 1 sense) substorm current wedge (SCI) model revealed systematic discrepancies between the observed and predicted amplitudes, which suggested us to include additional region 2 sense currents (R2 loop) earthward of the dipolarized region (SCW2L model). Here we discuss alternative circuit geometries of the 3-D substorm current system and interpret observations of the magnetic field dipolarizations made between 6.6RE and 11RE, to quantitatively investigate the SCW2L model parameters. During two cases of a dipole-like magnetotail configuration, the dipolarization/injection front fortuitously stopped at r ~ 9RE for the entire duration of ~ 30 min long SCW-related dipolarization within a unique, radially distributed multispacecraft constellation, which allowed us to determine the locations and total currents of both SCW2L loops. In addition, we analyzed the dipolarization amplitudes in events, simultaneously observed at 6.6RE, 11RE and at colatitudes under a wide range of magnetograph conditions. We infer that the ratio I2/I1 varies in the range 0.2 to 0.6 (median value 0.4) and that the equatorial part of the R2 current loop stays at r>6.6RE in the case of a dipole-like field geometry (BZ0>75 nT at 6.6RE prior to the onset), but it is located at r<6.6RE in the case of a stretched magnetic field configuration (with BZ0<60 nT). Since the ground midlatitude perturbations are sensitive to the combined effect of the R1 and R2 sense current loops with the net current roughly equal to I1-I2, the ratio I2/I1 becomes an important issue when attempting to monitor the current disruption intensity from ground observations.

Sergeev, V.; Nikolaev, A.; Tsyganenko, N.; Angelopoulos, V.; Runov, A.; Singer, H.; Yang, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 02/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019629

injections; magnetotail; substorm current wedge; substorms