The increase in the curvature radius of geomagnetic field lines preceding a classical dipolarization

Osuke Saka
2020 Annales Geophysicae  
Abstract. Based on assumptions that substorm field line dipolarization at geosynchronous altitudes is associated with the arrival of high-velocity magnetotail flow bursts referred to as bursty bulk flows, the following sequence of field line dipolarization is proposed: (1) slow magnetoacoustic wave excited through ballooning instability by enhanced inflows in pre-onset intervals towards the equatorial plane; (2) in the equatorial plane, slow magnetoacoustic wave stretching of the flux tube in
more » ... the flux tube in dawn–dusk directions resulting in spreading plasmas in dawn–dusk directions and reduction in the radial pressure gradient in the flux tube. As a consequence of these processes, the flux tube assumes a new equilibrium geometry in which the curvature radius of new field lines increased in the meridian plane, suggesting an onset of field line dipolarization. The dipolarization processes associated with changing the curvature radius preceded classical dipolarization caused by a reduction of cross-tail currents and pileup of the magnetic fields. Increasing the curvature radius induced a convection surge in the equatorial plane as well as inductive westward electric fields of the order of millivolts per meter (mV m−1). Electric fields transmitted to the ionosphere produce an electromotive force in the E layer for generating a field-aligned current system of Bostrom type. This is also equivalent to the creation of an incomplete Cowling channel in the ionospheric E layer by the convection surge.
doi:10.5194/angeo-38-467-2020 fatcat:7qk3medeczbpjn5eqlq3cewrfi