Case studies of flow patterns during substorms have revealed characteristic patterns in the period leading to expansion onset. Velocities in the premidnight region have been observed to become strongly sheared, and the premidnight convection reversal has been observed to extend across the midnight meridian. At expansion onset, the shear decreases and flow at midnight becomes meridional, out of the polar cap. The study presented here superposes flow patterns from 10 substorm intervals to determine the average flow patterns. The study confirms the findings of the case studies and extends them to additional local time sectors. In addition, changes to the flow pattern after expansion onset are examined.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science