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Field-aligned current ordering in ground and space measurements

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Abstract

  • Malcolm Dunlop
  • Junying Yang
  • Xiangcheng Dong
  • Mervyn Freeman
  • Neil Rogers
  • Jim Wild
  • Colin Forsyth
  • Jinbin Cao
  • Hermann Lühr
  • Chao Xiong
Publication date8/05/2020
Number of pages1
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventEuropean Geosciences Union General Assembly 2020: Sharing Geosciences Online - Online
Duration: 4/05/20208/05/2020


ConferenceEuropean Geosciences Union General Assembly 2020
Abbreviated titleEGU 2020
Internet address


The orientation of field-aligned current sheets (FACs) can be inferred from dual-spacecraft correlations of the FAC signatures between two Swarm spacecraft (A and C), using the maximum correlations obtained from sliding data segments. Statistical analysis of both the correlations and the inferred orientations shows clear trends in magnetic local time (MLT) which reveal behaviour of both large and small scale currents. The maximum correlation coefficients show distinct behaviour in terms of either the time shift, or the shift in longitude between Swarm A and C for various filtering levels. The lower-latitude FACs show the strongest correlations for a broad range of MLT centred on dawn and dusk, with a higher correlation coefficient on the dusk-side and lower correlations near noon and midnight, and broadly follow the mean shape of the auroral boundary for the lower latitudes corresponding to Region 2 FACs (and are most well-ordered on the dusk side). Individual events sampled by higher altitude spacecraft (e.g. the 4 Cluster spacecraft), in conjunction with Swarm (mapping both to region 1 and 2), also show two different domains of FACs: time variable, small-scale (10s km), and more stationary large-scale (>100 km) FACs. We investigate further how these FAC regimes are dependent on geomagnetic activity, focusing on high activity events. Both the statistical trends, and individual conjugate events, show comparable effects seen in the ground magnetometer signals (dH/dt) during storm/substorm activity and show distributions that are similar.