Statistical storm time examination of MLT-dependent plasmapause location derived from IMAGE EUV

Academic Article


  • AbstractThe location of the outer edge of the plasmasphere (the plasmapause) as a function of geomagnetic storm time is identified and investigated statistically in regard to the solar wind driver. Imager for Magnetopause‐to‐Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) extreme ultraviolet (EUV) data are used to create an automated method that locates and extracts the plasmapause. The plasmapause extraction technique searches a set range of possible plasmasphere densities for a maximum gradient. The magnetic local time (MLT)‐dependent plasmapause results are compared to manual extraction results. The plasmapause results from 39 intense storms are examined along a normalized epoch storm timeline to determine the average plasmapause L shell as a function of MLT and storm time. The average extracted plasmapause L shell follows the expected storm time plasmapause behavior. The results show that during the main phase, the plasmapause moves earthward and a plasmaspheric drainage plume forms near dusk and across the dayside during strong convection. During the recovery phase, the plume rejoins the corotationally driven plasma while the average plasmapause location moves farther from the Earth. The results are also examined in terms of the solar wind driver. We find evidence that shows that the different categories of solar wind drivers result in different plasmaspheric configurations. During magnetic cloud‐driven events the plasmaspheric drainage plume appears at the start of the main phase. During sheath‐driven events the plume forms later but typically extends further in MLT.
  • Authors

  • Katus, RM
  • Gallagher, DL
  • Liemohn, MW
  • Keesee, Amy
  • Sarno-Smith, LK
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • July 2015
  • Published In


  • IMAGE EUV data
  • geomagnetic storms
  • normalized superposed epoch analysis
  • plasmapause
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 5545
  • End Page

  • 5559
  • Volume

  • 120
  • Issue

  • 7