Electrodynamics of the inner magnetosphere observed in the dusk sector by CRRES and DMSP during the magnetic storm of June 4–6, 1991


  • W. J. Burke,

  • N. C. Maynard,

  • M. P. Hagan,

  • R. A. Wolf,

  • G. R. Wilson,

  • L. C. Gentile,

  • M. S. Gussenhoven,

  • C. Y. Huang,

  • T. W. Garner,

  • F. J. Rich


We compare equatorward/earthward boundaries of convection electric fields and auroral/plasma sheet electrons detected by the DMSP F8 and CRRES satellites during the June 1991 magnetic storm. Measurements come from the dusk magnetic local time sector where the ring current penetrates closest to the Earth. The storm was triggered by a rapid increase in the solar wind dynamic pressure accompanied by a southward turning of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Satellite data show the following: (1) All particle and field boundaries moved equatorward/earthward during the initial phase, probably in response to the strong southward IMF turning. (2) Electric field boundaries were either at lower magnetic L shells or close to the inner edge of ring current ions throughout the main and early recovery phases. Penetration earthward of the ring current occurred twice as the polar cap potential increased rapidly. (3) Electric potentials at subauroral latitudes were large fractions of the total potentials in the afternoon cell, twice exceeding 60 kV. (4) The boundaries of auroral electron precipitation were more variable than those of electric fields and mapped to lower L shells than where CRRES encountered plasma sheet electrons. Observations qualitatvely agree with predictions of empirical models for auroral electron and electric field boundaries.