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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 23, issue 12
Ann. Geophys., 23, 3599–3613, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-3599-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 23, 3599–3613, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-3599-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  23 Dec 2005

23 Dec 2005

Substorm dynamics revealed by ground observations of two-dimensional auroral structures on 9 October 2000

J. Liang1,*, E. F. Donovan2, G. J. Sofko1, and T. Trondsen2 J. Liang et al.
  • 1Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  • *now at: Canadian Space Agency, 6767 route de l’Aéroport, Saint-Hubert, Québec, Canada

Abstract. Multi-instrument observations of a small substorm event on 9 October 2000 provide, with high time resolution, two-dimensional information about substorm dynamics. A sequence of three optical intensifications, each associated with a Pi2 burst, were found, in which the third auroral intensification marked the onset of a small substorm. All three intensifications originated close to midnight, but evolved progressively eastward. Within each of the three optical intensifications, a few azimuthally-spaced patches appeared, the first one near midnight and the subsequent patches successively eastward in the postmidnight sector, providing evidence for drift wave activity in the near-geosynchronous-orbit plasma sheet (NGOPS). The SuperDARN measurements reveal the development of eastward electric fields at NGOPS latitude within each Pi2 burst interval. These observations can be interpreted as supporting the drift-Alfvén-ballooning (DAB) mode instability and its role in substorm expansion at NGOPS.

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