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SAID: Plasmaspheric short circuit of substorm injections

SAID: Plasmaspheric short circuit of substorm injections

Publication date: 18 December 2007

Authors: Mishin, E.V. et al.

Journal: Geophys. Res. Lett.
Volume: 34
Issue: 24
ID: L24101
Year: 2007

Copyright: American Geophysical Union

We present magnetically-conjugate Cluster/DMSP observations of subauroral ion drifts (SAID) after the onset of a weak substorm on 18 March 2002 that confirm and expand on the previous Cluster/DMSP results. The outer side of the SAID channel is aligned with the plasmapause and its outer edge marks the dispersionless boundary of the electron precipitation. The SAID's inner edge co-locates with a sharp decrease in the flux of the injected ions whose minimum energy increases with the electric potential. Downward ionospheric FACs flow within the channel, mainly near its outer side, concentrating near the density maxima. The SAID peak co-locates either with that in the density or lies on the outer wall of the trough. The overall SAID features are consistent with a short circuiting of the substorm injection front over the plasmasphere and subsequent formation of a turbulent overlap region.

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