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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 22, issue 5
Ann. Geophys., 22, 1729–1738, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 22, 1729–1738, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  08 Apr 2004

08 Apr 2004

Importance of post-shock streams and sheath region as drivers of intense magnetospheric storms and high-latitude activity

K. E. J. Huttunen1 and H. E. J. Koskinen1,2 K. E. J. Huttunen and H. E. J. Koskinen
  • 1Department of Physical Sciences, Theoretical Physics Division, P.O. Box 64, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Magnetic disturbances in the Earth's magnetosphere can be very different depending on the type of solar wind driver. We have determined the solar wind causes for intense magnetic storms (Dst<-100nT) over a 6-year period from the beginning of 1997 to the end of 2002, using observations by the WIND and ACE spacecraft. We have taken into consideration whether the storm was caused by the sheath region or by the following interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME). We also divided ICMEs into those having a magnetic cloud structure and those without such a structure. We found that post-shock streams and sheath regions caused the largest fraction of intense magnetic storms. We present four periods of magnetospheric activity in more detail. One of the events was caused by a magnetic cloud (10-11 August 2000) and the rest (13-14 July 2000, 8-9 June 2000 and 17-18 April 2001) by sheath regions and post-shock streams. We have used several magnetic indices to monitor the low- and high-latitude magnetospheric response to these different solar wind structures. Two of the events are interesting examples where at first strong high-latitude activity took place and the low-latitude response followed several hours later. These events demonstrate that low- and high-latitude activity do not always occur concurrently and the level of activity may be very different. According to the examples shown the evolution of the pressure-corrected Dst index was more difficult to model for a sheath region or a post-shock stream driven storm than for a storm caused by a magnetic cloud.

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