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Title: Comparative study of large-scale auroral signatures of substorms, steady magnetospheric convection events, and sawtooth events
Authors: Walach, M-T.
Milan, S. E.
Murphy, K. R.
Carter, J. A.
Hubert, B. A.
Grocott, A.
First Published: 27-Jun-2017
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU), Wiley
Citation: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2017, 122 (6), pp. 6357-6373 (17)
Abstract: This paper investigates the auroral evolution during different magnetospheric modes: substorms, steady magnetospheric convection, and sawtooth events. We undertake a superposed epoch analysis using data from the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration Far Ultraviolet spectrographic imager and wideband imaging camera for each of these event types. We find that the auroral oval narrows and shows an equatorward movement prior to substorm onset. At substorm onset, the auroral oval brightens explosively near 23 magnetic local time (MLT). After this the aurorae expand poleward and the brightening stretches duskward and dawnward, with the duskward expansion being faster. Approximately 20 min after substorm onset, the aurorae begin to dim. Steady magnetospheric convection events with preceding substorms initially show the same signatures as substorms, but instead of the recovery after 20 min postonset, the aurorae stay bright for an extended period of time (at least 4 h after onset). Despite continued dayside driving of the system during steady magnetospheric convection events, we see a reconfiguration in the nightside auroral activity, taking place between 120 to 150 min after onset. Sawtooth events show very similar signatures to substorms, except for the auroral emission being much brighter, covering a wider MLT extent, and taking significantly less time to recover. The proton aurorae during substorms take ∼2–4 h to dim, during sawtooth events this process takes less than 1 h, despite enhanced reconnection rates. A similar effect is seen in the electron aurorae, albeit not as extreme.
DOI Link: 10.1002/2017JA023991
ISSN: 2169-9380
eISSN: 2169-9402
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2017. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Description: The code used to generate the plots in this paper are stored in University of Leicester computers and are available on request.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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