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Substorm evolution of auroral structures
Responsible organisation
2015 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 120, no 7, 5958-5972 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Auroral arcs are often associated with magnetically quiet time and substorm growth phases. We have studied the evolution of auroral structures during global and local magnetic activity to investigate the occurrence rate of auroral arcs during different levels of magnetic activity. The ground-magnetic and auroral conditions are described by the magnetometer and auroral camera data from five Magnetometers — Ionospheric radars — All-sky cameras Large Experiment stations in Finnish and Swedish Lapland. We identified substorm growth, expansion, and recovery phases from the local electrojet index (IL) in 1996–2007 and analyzed the auroral structures during the different phases. Auroral structures were also analyzed during different global magnetic activity levels, as described by the planetary Kp index. The distribution of auroral structures for all substorm phases and Kp levels is of similar shape. About one third of all detected structures are auroral arcs. This suggests that auroral arcs occur in all conditions as the main element of the aurora. The most arc-dominated substorm phases occur in the premidnight sector, while the least arc-dominated substorm phases take place in the dawn sector. Arc event lifetimes and expectation times calculated for different substorm phases show that the longest arc-dominated periods are found during growth phases, while the longest arc waiting times occur during expansion phases. Most of the arc events end when arcs evolve to more complex structures. This is true for all substorm phases. Based on the number of images of auroral arcs and the durations of substorm phases, we conclude that a randomly selected auroral arc most likely belongs to a substorm expansion phase. A small time delay, of the order of a minute, is observed between the magnetic signature of the substorm onset (i.e., the beginning of the negative bay) and the auroral breakup (i.e., the growth phase arc changing into a dynamic display). The magnetic onset was observed to precede the structural change in the auroral display. A longer delay of a few minutes was found between the beginning of the growth phase and the first detected auroral structure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 120, no 7, 5958-5972 p.
Keyword [en]
Auroral ionosphere, Ionospheric dynamics, Auroral phenomena, Substorms, auroral imaging, substorm, auroral morphology
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-3563DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021217OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-3563DiVA: diva2:1096920
Available from: 2017-05-19 Created: 2017-05-19 Last updated: 2017-05-19

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Publisher's full texthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015JA021217
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Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf