Articles | Volume 25, issue 4
08 May 2007
 | 08 May 2007

Changes of dayside auroral distribution caused by a solar wind pressure pulse and associated interplanetary magnetic field disturbances

A. Kozlovsky, M. Meurant, and T. Turunen

Abstract. Global auroral images from the IMAGE satellite were used to study statistically changes of the dayside aurora spatial distribution after an abrupt solar wind pressure increase, or so-called "Sudden Impulse" (SI). Contributions from IMF changes associated with a SI were also investigated. The effects of the IMF and pressure variations were separated using a multi-factor correlation analysis. The first prominent effect due to pressure increase is the auroral intensification equatorward of the middle dayside oval within 6 min after a SI occurred. This is consistent with the midday sub-auroral patches. The second effect due to pressure increase is the auroral intensification at high latitudes in the vicinity of the polar cap boundary. For the first 6 min the auroral intensification is most prominent in the postnoon sector. Later on (6–20 min) the intensification occurs in the prenoon sector. The most obvious effect of IMF changes is the "IMF By" effect, an intensification (fading) of the most poleward auroral forms when IMF By becomes negative (positive). This effect occurs 6–20 min after changes in the interplanetary medium. Such an effect is consistent with the IMF By-related system of field-aligned currents. No significant motion of the dayside auroral oval was observed associated with IMF Bz variations. This can be explained by a response time to IMF Bz changes larger than 20 min.