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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 12
Ann. Geophys., 12, 1174–1191, 1994
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-994-1174-1
© European Geosciences Union 1994
Ann. Geophys., 12, 1174–1191, 1994
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-994-1174-1
© European Geosciences Union 1994

  31 Dec 1994

31 Dec 1994

Ionospheric convection during the magnetic storm of 20-21 March 1990

J. R. Taylor, T. K. Yeoman, M. Lester, M. J. Buonsanto, J. L. Scali, J. M. Ruohoniemi, and J. D. Kelly J. R. Taylor et al.

Abstract. We report on the response of high-latitude ionospheric convection during the magnetic storm of March 20-21 1990. IMP-8 measurements of solar wind plasma and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), ionospheric convection flow measurements from the Wick and Goose Bay coherent radars, EISCAT, Millstone Hill and Sondrestrom incoherent radars and three digisondes at Millstone Hill, Goose Bay and Qaanaaq are presented. Two intervals of particular interest have been identified. The first starts with a storm sudden commencement at 2243 UT on March 20 and includes the ionospheric activity in the following 7 h. The response time of the ionospheric convection to the southward turning of the IMF in the dusk to midnight local times is found to be approximately half that measured in a similar study at comparable local times during more normal solar wind conditions. Furthermore, this response time is the same as those previously measured on the dayside. An investigation of the expansion of the polar cap during a substorm growth phase based on Faraday's law suggests that the expansion of the polar cap was nonuniform. A subsequent reconfiguration of the nightside convection pattern was also observed, although it was not possible to distinguish between effects due to possible changes in By and effects due to substorm activity. The second interval, 1200-2100 UT 21 March 1990, included a southward turning of the IMF which resulted in the Bz component becoming -10 nT. The response time on the dayside to this change in the IMF at the magnetopause was approximately 15 min to 30 min which is a factor of ~2 greater than those previously measured at higher latitudes. A movement of the nightside flow reversal, possibly driven by current systems associated with the substorm expansion phases, was observed, implying that the nightside convection pattern can be dominated by substorm activity.

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