Articles | Volume 22, issue 4
02 Apr 2004
 | 02 Apr 2004

Transpolar arc evolution and associated potential patterns

J. A. Cumnock and L. G. Blomberg

Abstract. We present two event studies encompassing detailed relationships between plasma convection, field-aligned current, auroral emission, and particle precipitation boundaries. We illustrate the influence of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field By component on theta aurora development by showing two events during which the theta originates on both the dawn and dusk sides of the auroral oval. Both theta then move across the entire polar region and become part of the opposite side of the auroral oval. Electric and magnetic field and precipitating particle data are provided by DMSP, while the Polar UVI instrument provides measurements of auroral emissions. Utilizing satellite data as inputs, the Royal Institute of Technology model provides the high-latitude ionospheric electrostatic potential pattern calculated at different times during the evolution of the theta aurora, resulting from a variety of field-aligned current configurations associated with the changing global aurora.

Key words. Ionosphere (auroral ionosphere; electric fields and currents). Magnetospheric physics (magnetosphereionosphere interactions)