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Title: Extreme Magnetosphere‐Ionosphere‐Thermosphere Responses to the 5 April 2010 Supersubstorm

The extreme substorm event on 5 April 2010 (THEMIS AL = −2,700 nT, called supersubstorm) was investigated to examine its driving processes, the aurora current system responsible for the supersubstorm, and the magnetosphere‐ionosphere‐thermosphere (M‐I‐T) responses. An interplanetary shock created shock aurora, but the shock was not a direct driver of the supersubstorm onset. Instead, the shock with a large southward IMF strengthened the growth phase with substantially larger ionosphere currents, more rapid equatorward motion of the auroral oval, larger ionosphere conductance, and more elevated magnetotail pressure than those for the growth phase of classical substorms. The auroral brightening at the supersubstorm onset was small, but the expansion phase had multistep enhancements of unusually large auroral brightenings and electrojets. The largest activity was an extremely large poleward boundary intensification (PBI) and subsequent auroral streamer, which started ~20 min after the substorm auroral onset during a steady southward IMFBzand elevated dynamic pressure. Those were associated with a substorm current wedge (SCW), plasma sheet flow, relativistic particle injection and precipitation down to the D‐region, total electron content (TEC), conductance, and neutral wind in the thermosphere, all of which were unusually large compared to classical substorms. The SCW did not extend over the entire nightside auroral activity but was localized azimuthally to a few 100 km in the ionosphere around the PBI and streamer. These results reveal the importance of localized magnetotail reconnection for releasing large energy accumulation that can affect geosynchronous satellites and produce the extreme M‐I‐T responses.

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Award ID(s):
1907698 1907483
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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