Causes of plasma flow bursts and dayside auroral transients: An evaluation of two models Invoking reconnection pulses and changes in the Y component of the magnetosheath field
Lockwood, M., Cowley, S. W. H., Sandholt, P. E. and Løvhaug, U. P. (1995) Causes of plasma flow bursts and dayside auroral transients: An evaluation of two models Invoking reconnection pulses and changes in the Y component of the magnetosheath field. Journal of Geophysical Research, 100 (A5). pp. 7613-7626. ISSN 0148-0227
To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/94JA02264
Longitudinal flow bursts observed by the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) radar, in association with dayside auroral transients observed from Svalbard, have been interpreted as resulting from pulses of enhanced reconnection at the dayside magnetopause. However, an alternative model has recently been proposed for a steady rate of magnetopause reconnection, in which the bursts of longitudinal flow are due to increases in the field line curvature force, associated with the By component of the magnetosheath field. We here evaluate these two models, using observations on January 20, 1990, by EISCAT and a 630-nm all-sky camera at Ny Ålesund. For both models, we predict the behavior of both the dayside flows and the 630-nm emissions on newly opened field lines. It is shown that the signatures of steady reconnection and magnetosheath By changes could possibly resemble the observed 630-nm auroral events, but only for certain locations of the observing site, relative to the ionospheric projection of the reconnection X line: however, in such cases, the flow bursts would be seen between the 630-nm transients and not within them. On the other hand, the model of reconnection rate pulses predicts that the flows will be enhanced within each 630-nm transient auroral event. The observations on January 20, 1990, are shown to be consistent with the model of enhanced reconnection rate pulses over a background level and inconsistent with the effects of periodic enhancements of the magnitude of the magnetosheath By component. We estimate that the reconnection rate within the pulses would have to be at least an order of magnitude larger than the background level between the pulses.