Observations of magnetospheric substorms occurring with no apparent solar wind/IMF trigger

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An outstanding topic in magnetospheric physics is whether substorms are always externally triggered by disturbances in either the interplanetary magnetic field or solar wind, or whether they can also occur solely as the result of an internal magnetospheric instability. Over the past decade, arguments have been made on both sides of this issue. Horwitz and McPherron have shown examples of substorm onsets which they claimed were not externally triggered. However, as pointed out by Lyons, there are several problems associated with these studies that make their results somewhat inconclusive. In particular, in the McPherron et al. study, fluctuations in the ... continued below

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39 p.

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Henderson, M.G.; Reeves, G.D.; Belian, R.D. & Murphree, J.S. March 1, 1996.

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Description

An outstanding topic in magnetospheric physics is whether substorms are always externally triggered by disturbances in either the interplanetary magnetic field or solar wind, or whether they can also occur solely as the result of an internal magnetospheric instability. Over the past decade, arguments have been made on both sides of this issue. Horwitz and McPherron have shown examples of substorm onsets which they claimed were not externally triggered. However, as pointed out by Lyons, there are several problems associated with these studies that make their results somewhat inconclusive. In particular, in the McPherron et al. study, fluctuations in the B{sub y} component were not considered as possible triggers. Furthermore, Lyons suggests that the sharp decreases in the AL index during intervals of steady IMF/solar wind, are not substorms at all but rather that they are just enhancements of the convection driven DP2 current system that are often observed to occur during steady magnetospheric convection events. In the present study, we utilize a much more comprehensive dataset (consisting of particle data from the Los Alamos energetic particle detectors at geosynchronous orbit, IMP 8 magnetometer and plasma data, Viking UV auroral imager data, mid-latitude Pi2 pulsation data, ground magnetometer data and ISEE1 magnetic field and energetic particle data) to show as unambiguously as possible that typical substorms can indeed occur in the absence of an identifiable trigger in the solar wind/IMF.

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39 p.

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OSTI as DE96006973

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  • ICS-3 substorm conference, Versailles (France), 13-17 May 1996

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  • Other: DE96006973
  • Report No.: LA-UR--96-250
  • Report No.: CONF-9605109--1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 224245
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc670842

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  • March 1, 1996

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  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Feb. 29, 2016, 10:06 p.m.

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Henderson, M.G.; Reeves, G.D.; Belian, R.D. & Murphree, J.S. Observations of magnetospheric substorms occurring with no apparent solar wind/IMF trigger, article, March 1, 1996; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc670842/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.