Dayside flow bursts and high-latitude reconnection when the IMF is strongly northward
Abstract. The characteristics of dayside ionospheric convection are studied using Northern Hemispheric SuperDARN data and DMSP particle and flow observations when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) was strongly northward during 13:00–15:00 UT on 2 March 2002. Although IMF Bx was positive, which is believed to favour Southern Hemisphere high-latitude reconnection at equinox, a four-cell convection pattern was observed and lasted for more than 1.5 h in the Northern Hemisphere. The reconnection rate derived from an analysis of the Northern Hemisphere SuperDARN data illustrates that the high-latitude reconnection was quasi-periodic, with a period between 4–16 min. A sawtooth-like and reverse-dispersed ion signature was observed by DMSP-F14 in the sunward cusp convection at around 14:41 UT, confirming that the high-latitude reconnection was pulsed. Accompanying the pulsed reconnection, strong antisunward ionospheric flow bursts were observed in the post-noon LLBL region on closed field lines, propagating with the same speed as the plasma convection. DMSP flow data show that a similar flow pattern and particle precipitation occurred in the conjugate Southern Hemisphere.