Articles | Volume 25, issue 9
02 Oct 2007
 | 02 Oct 2007

The driving mechanisms of particle precipitation during the moderate geomagnetic storm of 7 January 2005

N. Longden, F. Honary, A. J. Kavanagh, and J. Manninen

Abstract. The arrival of an interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) triggered a sudden storm commencement (SSC) at ~09:22 UT on the 7 January 2005. The ICME followed a quiet period in the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). We present global scale observations of energetic electron precipitation during the moderate geomagnetic storm driven by the ICME. Energetic electron precipitation is inferred from increases in cosmic noise absorption (CNA) recorded by stations in the Global Riometer Array (GLORIA). No evidence of CNA was observed during the first four hours of passage of the ICME or following the sudden commencement (SC) of the storm. This is consistent with the findings of Osepian and Kirkwood (2004) that SCs will only trigger precipitation during periods of geomagnetic activity or when the magnetic perturbation in the magnetosphere is substantial. CNA was only observed following enhanced coupling between the IMF and the magnetosphere, resulting from southward oriented IMF. Precipitation was observed due to substorm activity, as a result of the initial injection and particles drifting from the injection region. During the recovery phase of the storm, when substorm activity diminished, precipitation due to density driven increases in the solar wind dynamic pressure (Pdyn) were identified. A number of increases in Pdyn were shown to drive sudden impulses (SIs) in the geomagnetic field. While many of these SIs appear coincident with CNA, SIs without CNA were also observed. During this period, the threshold of geomagnetic activity required for SC driven precipitation was exceeded. This implies that solar wind density driven SIs occurring during storm recovery can drive a different response in particle precipitation to typical SCs.