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Chinese Journal of Space Science ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 315-331.doi: 10.11728/cjss2018.03.315

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Tailward Expansion of the Plasma Sheet during a Substorm Using THEMIS Observations

REN Nian1,2, SHEN Chao3, MA Yonghui3   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190;
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049;
    3 College of Science, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen 518055
  • Received:2017-04-12 Revised:2017-11-03 Online:2018-05-15 Published:2018-05-12

Abstract:

A moderately intense substorm from 10:40UT to 12:10UT on 13 March 2008 observed by THEMIS probes is examined to analyze the global evolution of the substorm in the magnetotail. During this substorm, five THEMIS probes are arranged along the x-axis in the vicinity of the midnight, from the radical distance of about 8.7 to 13.2Re. Magnetic field dipolarization and plasma sheet expansions are all observed by different probes after the substorm onset. The average velocity of the plasma sheet expansions is about 140km·s-1. Two types of dipolarization are detected in this substorm. One type is dipolarization front which is associated with the Bursty Bulk Flow (BBF). The other type is global dipolarization which is associated with plasma sheet expansions.The occurrence of Pi2 pulsation can be observed at low, medium and high latitudes 7 minutes later from the substrom onset. The amplitude of Pi2 pulsation gradually increases with the increase of latitude. The ion bulk velocity in the substorm event is mainly caused by the ion drift velocity, and the measured electric field is the induced electric field generated by the change of the local magnetic flux.

Key words: Substorm, Magnetic dipolarization, Plasma sheet expansion, Pi2 pulsation, Electric drift velocity

CLC Number: