Journal Article Response of reverse convection to fast IMF transitions

Taguchi, S.  ,  Tawara, A.  ,  Hairston, M. R.  ,  Slavin, J. A.  ,  Le, G.  ,  Matzka, J.  ,  Stolle, C.

120 ( 5 )  , pp.4020 - 4037 , 2015-05-26 , American Geophysical Union
The nature of the transition that high-latitude reverse convection makes in response to fast interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) changes is investigated using observations from multiple spacecraft and a ground magnetometer array. We focused on two fast IMF-transition events on 22 April 2006. Immediately after the first event, three ST5 spacecraft identified a clear change in the distribution of the polar cap field-aligned current. Coordinate observations with the Greenland magnetometer chain showed that the near-noon Hall current distribution, which is closely related to the polar cap field-aligned current or reverse convection, was in a transition state for about 10 min. For the second event, the Greenland magnetic perturbations also showed that a transition state occurred in the near-noon sector for 10–15 min. Three DMSP spacecraft that traversed the polar cap provided evidence showing that variations of the ground magnetic perturbations were produced by the transition from clockwise plasma circulation to the anticlockwise circulation over the polar cap. A simple calculation based on the Biot-Savart law shows that the near-noon transition state is consistent with the approach of a new convection region to the near-noon sector at the speed of 0.5–1 km s–1, which is coupled with the moving away of the old convection region at a similar speed. For the higher-latitude sunward flow region, it is found that the convection takes a transition state almost simultaneously (within 1 min) with that in the near-noon sector, i.e., quasi-instantaneous response.

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