Dayside flow bursts and high-latitude reconnection when the IMF is strongly northward

Hu, H.; Yeoman, T. K.; Lester, M.; Liu, R.; Yang, H.; Grocott, A.

The characteristics of dayside ionospheric convection are studied using Northern Hemispheric SuperDARN data and DMSP particle and flow observations when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) was strongly northward during 13:00–15:00 UT on 2 March 2002. Although IMF Bx was positive, which is believed to favour Southern Hemisphere high-latitude reconnection at equinox, a four-cell convection pattern was observed and lasted for more than 1.5 h in the Northern Hemisphere. The reconnection rate derived from an analysis of the Northern Hemisphere SuperDARN data illustrates that the high-latitude reconnection was quasi-periodic, with a period between 4–16 min. A sawtooth-like and reverse-dispersed ion signature was observed by DMSP-F14 in the sunward cusp convection at around 14:41 UT, confirming that the high-latitude reconnection was pulsed. Accompanying the pulsed reconnection, strong antisunward ionospheric flow bursts were observed in the post-noon LLBL region on closed field lines, propagating with the same speed as the plasma convection. DMSP flow data show that a similar flow pattern and particle precipitation occurred in the conjugate Southern Hemisphere.

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Hu, H. / Yeoman, T. K. / Lester, M. / et al: Dayside flow bursts and high-latitude reconnection when the IMF is strongly northward. 2006. Copernicus Publications.

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