Multi-instrument ground-based observations of a travelling convection vortices event
Abstract. A coordinated ground-based observational campaign using the IMAGE magnetometer network, EISCAT radars and optical instruments on Svalbard has made possible detailed studies of a travelling convection vortices (TCV) event on 6 January 1992. Combining the data from these facilities allows us to draw a very detailed picture of the features and dynamics of this TCV event. On the way from the noon to the drawn meridian, the vortices went through a remarkable development. The propagation velocity in the ionosphere increased from 2.5 to 7.4 km s–1, and the orientation of the major axes of the vortices rotated from being almost parallel to the magnetic meridian near noon to essentially perpendicular at dawn. By combining electric fields obtained by EISCAT and ionospheric currents deduced from magnetic field recordings, conductivities associated with the vortices could be estimated. Contrary to expectations we found higher conductivities below the downward field aligned current (FAC) filament than below the upward directed. Unexpected results also emerged from the optical observations. For most of the time there were no discrete aurora at 557.7 nm associated with the TCVs. Only once did a discrete form appear at the foot of the upward FAC. This aurora subsequently expanded eastward and westward leaving its centre at the same longitude while the TCV continued to travel westward. Also we try to identify the source regions of TCVs in the magnetosphere and discuss possible generation mechanisms.