On the Role of Ionospheric Ions in Sawtooth Events

Academic Article


  • AbstractSimulations have suggested that feedback of heavy ions originating in the ionosphere is an important mechanism for driving sawtooth injections. However, this feedback may only be necessary for events driven by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), whereas in events driven by streaming interaction regions (SIRs), solar wind variability may suffice to drive these injections. Here we present case studies of two sawtooth events for which in situ data are available in both the magnetotail (Cluster) and the nightside auroral region (FAST), as well as global auroral images (IMAGE). One event, on 1 October 2001, was driven by a CME; the other, on 24 October 2002, was driven by an SIR. The available data do not support the hypothesis that heavy ion feedback is necessary to drive either event. This result is consistent with simulations of the SIR‐driven event but disagrees with simulation results for a different CME‐driven event. We also find that in an overwhelming majority of the sawtooth injections for which Cluster tail data are available, the O+ observed in the tail comes from the cusp rather than the nightside auroral region, which further casts doubt on the hypothesis that ionospheric heavy ion feedback is the cause of sawtooth injections.
  • Authors

  • Lund, EJ
  • Nowrouzi, N
  • Kistler, Lynn
  • Cai, X
  • Frey, HU
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • January 2018
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 665
  • End Page

  • 684
  • Volume

  • 123
  • Issue

  • 1