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Relation of polar auroral arcs to magnetotail twisting and IMF rotation: a systematic MHD simulation study
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Centres, Alfvén Laboratory Centre for Space and Fusion Plasma Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0349-0645
2004 (English)In: Annales Geophysicae, ISSN 0992-7689, E-ISSN 1432-0576, Vol. 22, no 3, 951-970 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigate with the help of a magnetohydro-dynamic (MHD) model how the large-scale topology of the magnetosphere develops for a constant interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) with different IMF clock angles and for an IMF B-y sign change during northward IMF. A detailed examination of the topological changes in the tail and the ionosphere for different IMF conditions shows a good agreement with observational results. The MHD simulations for different constant IMF clock angle cases show the expected field-line bending and tail twisting for nonzero IMF B-y. The tail becomes longer and at its tailward end stronger twisted for IMF B-z > \B-y\ than for IMF B-z < \B-y\. The field lines originating in the high-latitude flank of the far-tail plasma sheet map into the near-Earth tail lobes and to a strongly poleward displaced polar cap boundary. A comparison with observations suggests that an oval-aligned arc may occur on the high-latitude part of the polar cap boundary. An IMF B-y sign change causes large deformations of the tail. After the IMF B-y flip the near-Earth and far-tail plasma sheet regions are oppositely twisted which causes in the near-Earth tail a bifurcation of the closed field line region that moves from one flank to the other. The bifurcated part of the closed field line region maps to a bridge of closed field lines moving over the entire polar cap. This moving bridge may be interpreted as the mapped region of a moving transpolar arc. Based on earlier observations, such a type of polar arcs is expected to occur after an IMF B-y sign change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 22, no 3, 951-970 p.
Keyword [en]
ionosphere, auroral ionosphere, ionosphere magnetosphere interactions, space plasma physics, numerical simulation studies
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25465ISI: 000220762200020ScopusID: 2-s2.0-1942536110OAI: diva2:358616
QC 20101022Available from: 2010-10-22 Created: 2010-10-22 Last updated: 2010-10-22Bibliographically approved

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