Variation of the Auroral Birkeland Current Pattern Associated with the North-South Component of the IMF

  1. Thomas A. Potemra
  1. P. F. Bythrow,
  2. T. A. Potemra and
  3. L. J. Zanetti

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM028p0131

Magnetospheric Currents

Magnetospheric Currents

How to Cite

Bythrow, P. F., Potemra, T. A. and Zanetti, L. J. (1984) Variation of the Auroral Birkeland Current Pattern Associated with the North-South Component of the IMF, in Magnetospheric Currents (ed T. A. Potemra), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM028p0131

Author Information

  1. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laborator, Laurel, Maryland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900551

Online ISBN: 9781118664131

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Keywords:

  • Magnetospheric currents—Congresses;
  • Plasma instabilities—Congresses

Summary

In this study we have examined the data set acquired from the vector magnetometer on board MAGSAT during the period October 1979 to June 1980. Auroral zone crossings were sorted by hourly averaged values of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field. The result is a catalog of sorted data files from which we have generated color coded magnetic local time invariant latitude plots that image the auroral Birkeland current pattern, over each prescribed parameter range. Using these images, we have statistically examined the dynamics of the current pattern.

Our results indicate that during the periods of BZ<0, the region 1 and 2 current system expands toward lower latitudes accompanied by an expansion of the auroral zone. When BZ>0, we find that the region 1 and 2 currents continue to flow with greatly reduced amplitude in the presence of extensive small-scale structure.