Cluster multipoint study of the acceleration potential pattern and electrodynamics of an auroral surge and its associated horn arc
2012 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 117, no 10, A10223- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Cluster results are presented from the acceleration region of an auroral surge and connected horn arc, observed during an extended time period of substorm activity. The Cluster spacecraft crossed different magnetic local time (MLT) sectors of the surge and horn, with lag times of 2-10 min. Acceleration potential patterns are derived for the horn arc and for the double arc (surge and horn) at the surge front and deeper into the surge. The parallel potential drop of the horn arc ranged between 4 and 7 kV. At the surge front, two weakly coupled U-potentials with parallel potential drops of 8 (7) kV and 7 (5) kV were derived for the surge and horn, respectively, from the C3 (C4) data. A similar, more coupled pattern was derived for the region deeper into the surge. We also address how the field-aligned currents of the surge and horn system close in the ionosphere. The Cluster data allow almost simultaneous estimates of the latitudinal current closure at various MLT sectors. Significant net upward currents are derived for the horn and surge, whereas the currents at the surge front were found to be balanced. The net upward horn current is proposed to be fed by the zonal divergence of the westward Pedersen current in the horn, consistent with the acceleration potential decrease in the westward horn direction. The net upward surge current is proposed to be fed by the divergence of a westward electrojet and by localized downward currents adjacent to the surge.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 117, no 10, A10223- p.
Parallel Electric-Fields, Particle-Acceleration, Nighttime Sector, Current Region, Double-Layers, Black Aurora, Substorms, Magnetosphere, Ionosphere, Plasma
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105654DOI: 10.1029/2012JA018046ISI: 000310084600001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84868024343OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-105654DiVA: diva2:571874
QC 201211262012-11-262012-11-232014-11-10Bibliographically approved