Articles | Volume 17, issue 4
30 Apr 1999
30 Apr 1999

Auroral electrojet dynamics during magnetic storms, connection with plasma precipitation and large-scale structure of the magnetospheric magnetic field

Y. I. Feldstein, L. I. Gromova, A. Grafe, C.-I. Meng, V. V. Kalegaev, I. I. Alexeev, and Y. P. Sumaruk

Abstract. Effect of the equatorward shift of the eastward and westward electrojets during magnetic storms main phase is analyzed based on the meridional chains of magnetic observatories EISCAT and IMAGE and several Russian observatories (geomagnetic longitude ~110°, corrected geomagnetic latitudes 74°F 51°.) Magnetic storms of various Dst index intensity where the main phase falls on 1000 UT - 2400 UT interval were selected so that one of the observatory chains was located in the afternoon - near midnight sector of MLT. The eastward electrojet center shifts equatorward with Dst intensity increase: when Dst ~ - 50 nT the electrojet center is located at F ~ 62°, when Dst ~ -300 nT it is placed at F ~54°. The westward electrojet center during magnetic storms main phase for intervals between substorms shifts equatorward with Dst increase: at F~ 62° when Dst ~ -100 nT and at F ~ 55° when Dst ~ -300 nT. During substorms within the magnetic storms intervals the westward electrojet widens poleward covering latitudes F~ 64°- 65°. DMSP (F08, F10 and F11) satellite observations of auroral energy plasma precipitations at upper atmosphere altitudes were used to determine precipitation region structure and location of boundaries of various plasma domains during magnetic storms on May 10-11, 1992, February 5-7 and February 21-22, 1994. Interrelationships between center location, poleward and equatorward boundaries of electrojets and characteristic plasma regions are discussed. The electrojet center, poleward and equatorward boundaries along the magnetic observatories meridional chain were mapped to the magnetosphere using the geomagnetic field paraboloid model. The location of auroral energy oxygen ion regions in the night and evening magnetosphere is determined. Considerations are presented on the mechanism causing the appearance in the inner magnetosphere during active intervals of magnetic storms of ions with energy of tens KeV. In the framework of the magnetospheric magnetic field paraboloid model the influence of the ring current and magnetospheric tail plasma sheet currents on large-scale magnetosphere structure is considered.

Key words. Ionosphere (particle precipitation) · Magnetospheric physics (current systems; magnetospheric configuration and dynamics).