26 Jan 2022
26 Jan 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

The response of ionospheric currents to different types of magnetospheric fast flow bursts using THEMIS observations

Homayon Aryan1, Jacob Bortnik1, Jinxing Li1, James Michael Weygand2, Xiangning Chu3, and Vassilis Angelopoulos2 Homayon Aryan et al.
  • 1University of California Los Angeles, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Math Sciences Building, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1565, United States
  • 2Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
  • 3Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80303, USA

Abstract. The magnetotail earthward fast flow bursts can transport most of the magnetic flux and energy into the inner magnetosphere. These fast flow bursts are generally an order of magnitude higher than the typical convection speeds, that are azimuthally localized (1–3RE) and are flanked by plasma vortices which map to ionospheric plasma vortices of the same sense of rotation. This study uses multipoint analysis of conjugate magnetospheric and ionospheric observations to investigate the magnetospheric and ionospheric responses to the fast flow bursts that are associated with both substorms and pseudobreakups. We study in detail what properties control the differences in the magnetosphere-ionosphere responses between substorm and pseudobreakup conditions, and how such differences lead to the different ionospheric responses. The fast flow bursts and pseudobreakup events were observed by the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interaction during Substorms (THEMIS), when the satellites were at least 6RE from the Earth in radial distance, and a magnetic local time (MLT) region of ±5 hours from local midnight. The results show that the magnetosphere and ionosphere response to substorm fast flow bursts are much stronger and more structured compared to pseudobreakups, which is more likely to be localized, transient, and weak in the magnetosphere. The magnetic flux in the tail is much stronger for strong substorms and much weaker for pseudobreakup events. The Blobe decreases significantly for substorm fast flow bursts compared to pseudobreakup events. The curvature force density for pseudobreakups are much smaller than substorm fast flow events, indicating that the pseudobreakups may not be able to penetrate deep into the inner magnetosphere. This association can help us study the properties and activity of the magnetospheric earthward flow vortices from ground data.

Homayon Aryan et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2022-3', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Feb 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on angeo-2022-3', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Mar 2022

Homayon Aryan et al.

Homayon Aryan et al.


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Short summary
In this study, we use multipoint analysis of conjugate magnetospheric and ionospheric observations to investigate the magnetospheric and ionospheric responses to fast flow bursts that are associated to different space weather conditions. The results show that ionospheric currents are connected to the magnetospheric flows for different space weather conditions. The connection is more apparent and global for flows that are associated with geomagnetically active condition.