Following substorm auroral onset, the active aurora region usually expands poleward toward the poleward auroral boundary. Such poleward expansion is often associated with a bulge region that expands westward and forms the westward travelling surge. In this study, we show all‐sky imager and Poker Flat Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar observations of two surge events to investigate the relationship between the surge and ionospheric flows that likely have polar cap origin. For both events, we observe auroral streamers, with an adjacent flow channel consisting of decreased density and low electron temperature plasma flowing equatorward. This flow channel appears to impinge and lead/feed surge formation, and to stay connected to the surge as it moves westward. Also, for both events, streamer observations indicate that, following initial surge development, similar flows led to explosive surge enhancements. The observation that the streamers are connected to the auroral polar boundary and that the flow channels consisted of low density, low electron temperature plasma suggests the possibility that the impinging plasma came from the polar cap. For both events, the altitude variations of F region plasma within the surges are related with aurora emission and the poleward/equatorward flow, and the surges develop strong auroral streamers that initiate along the poleward auroral boundary when contacted with the flow. These results suggest that the flow of polar cap origin, which maps to underlying processes in the magnetotail, may play a crucial role in auroral surges by feeding low entropy plasma into surge initiation and development, and also playing an important role in the dynamics within a surge.
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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