Automated Detection Algorithm for Mesoscale Heated Regions in TWINS Ion Temperature Maps.

Academic Article


  • Earth's magnetotail plays a critical role in the dynamics of the magnetosphere, particularly during intervals of geomagnetic activity. To improve our understanding of the ion dynamics in this region, energetic neutral atom (ENA) imaging can provide global measurements to place in situ measurements in context and validate simulations. The NASA Two Wide-angle Imaging Neutral-atom Spectrometers mission provided near-continuous observations using ENA imagers. ENA data can be used to calculate maps of equatorial ion temperatures that often show observations of regions of enhanced temperatures associated with phenomena in the magnetotail such as magnetic reconnection and narrow flow channels. We present an algorithm that can be used to search through a collection of these maps to identify intervals with such enhancements for further study. The algorithm results are validated against two sets of related phenomena: (a) a database of dipolarizing flux bundle (DFB) measurements from THEMIS and (b) a list of substorm onsets from SuperMAG. We demonstrate that the algorithm is very good at identifying intervals when there are DFB measurements or substorm onsets as long as there sufficient ENA data. We discuss some potential scientific studies that can result from use of the algorithm. We also show a preliminary application of the algorithm to simulation output to demonstrate the usefulness for other datasets, facilitate comparative studies, and introduce a new method for model validation.
  • Authors

  • Keesee, Amy
  • Katus, R
  • Tibbetts, J
  • Liu, J
  • Zhang, X
  • Sorathia, KA
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2022
  • Published In


  • dipolarizing flux bundles
  • energetic neutral atom imaging
  • geomagnetic storms
  • magnetotail
  • plasma sheet
  • substorms
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • e2022JA030464
  • Volume

  • 127
  • Issue

  • 9