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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 16, issue 4
Ann. Geophys., 16, 441–449, 1998
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-998-0441-y
© European Geosciences Union 1998
Ann. Geophys., 16, 441–449, 1998
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-998-0441-y
© European Geosciences Union 1998

  30 Apr 1998

30 Apr 1998

Substorm associated radar auroral surges: a statistical study and possible generation model

B. A. Shand, M. Lester, and T. K. Yeoman B. A. Shand et al.
  • Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

Abstract. Substorm-associated radar auroral surges (SARAS) are a short lived (15–90 minutes) and spatially localised (~5° of latitude) perturbation of the plasma convection pattern observed within the auroral E-region. The understanding of such phenomena has important ramifications for the investigation of the larger scale plasma convection and ultimately the coupling of the solar wind, magnetosphere and ionosphere system. A statistical investigation is undertaken of SARAS, observed by the Sweden And Britain Radar Experiment (SABRE), in order to provide a more extensive examination of the local time occurrence and propagation characteristics of the events. The statistical analysis has determined a local time occurrence of observations between 1420 MLT and 2200 MLT with a maximum occurrence centred around 1700 MLT. The propagation velocity of the SARAS feature through the SABRE field of view was found to be predominately L-shell aligned with a velocity centred around 1750 m s–1 and within the range 500 m s–1 and 3500 m s–1. This comprehensive examination of the SARAS provides the opportunity to discuss, qualitatively, a possible generation mechanism for SARAS based on a proposed model for the production of a similar phenomenon referred to as sub-auroral ion drifts (SAIDs). The results of the comparison suggests that SARAS may result from a similar geophysical mechanism to that which produces SAID events, but probably occurs at a different time in the evolution of the event.

Key words. Substorms · Auroral surges · Plasma con-vection · Sub-auroral ion drifts

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