Open Access

SC related electric and magnetic field phenomena observed by the Akebono satellite inside the plasmasphere

Earth, Planets and Space201456:BF03353409

Received: 8 October 2003

Accepted: 19 January 2004

Published: 29 June 2014


Electric and magnetic field variations inside the plasmasphere associated with SCs identified on the ground are analyzed based on the Akebono satellite observations which have been carried out more than 13 years since March 1989. 126 electric field observation data corresponding to SCs show abrupt change of intensity as well as direction within a few minutes inside the plasmasphere. Temporal variations of the electric field showed a bipolar waveform with the amplitude range of 0.2–38 mV/m. The electric field signature is followed by a dumping oscillation with the period of Pc3–4 ranges. The magnetic field variations of 33 SCs also show an abrupt increase of 0.2–65 nT within a few minutes, which indicate the compression of the magnetosphere due to the discontinuity of solar wind. The initial excursion of the electric field during SCs tends to be directed westward. The amplitude does not show a dependence on magnetic local time that has been observed outside the plasmasphere. The magnitude of the electric field variations tends to be proportional with the power of 0.6 to the magnetic field variation in the plasmasphere. The Poynting vector of the initial SC impulse is directed toward the earth, which suggests that energy of magnetic disturbances associated with SCs propagates toward the earth inside the plasmasphere with the refraction due to the plasma density gradient. One of the most interesting results from the present study is that a DC offset of the Ey component of the electric field appears after the initial electric field impulse associated with SCs. This signature is interpreted to be a magnetospheric convection electric field penetration into the inner plasmasphere (L = 2.5). The intensity of the offset of the Ey field gradually increases by 0.5–2.0 mV/m about 1–2 minutes after the onset of the initial electric field impulse and persists about 10–30 minutes.

Key words

Sudden commencements electric and magnetic field Poynting vector plasmasphere convection electric field dumping oscillation the Akebono satellite westward