Geophysical Research Letters

Multiple-point electron measurements in a nightside auroral arc: Auroral turbulence II particle observations



We report here three-point measurements of bursty, velocity-dispersed, field-aligned electron precipitation at the poleward edge of a northward-moving, post-breakup, nightside auroral arc. The three-point measurement allows detection of the proper motion of the inverted-V arc, which is shown to be 550 m/sec northward. The velocity dispersion patterns are fitted to find the source altitude of the precipitation bursts as a function of distance from the poleward edge of the arc. These source points are interpreted to trace out the low-altitude boundary of the inverted-V potential drop, which is seen to rise both in time, and in the northward direction. The precipitation bursts under the inverted-V are seen to have an arc-aligned velocity which varies with time, and which is consistent with the measured E × B local drift speed.