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Title: Space‐Ground Observations of Dynamics of Substorm Onset Beads

We present observations during two substorms using simultaneous Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms satellites and all‐sky imagers to determine plasma sheet dynamics associated with substorm auroral onset beads. The multi‐satellite observations showed that the cross‐tail current decreased and the field‐aligned currents increased at the substorm auroral onset, indicating that the satellites detected an initiation of the currents being deflected to the ionosphere. For duskward‐propagating beads, the electric field was tailward, and ions were accumulated closer to the Earth than electrons. The mapped bead propagation speed was close to energetic ion drift speed. Theand electron drift speeds increased duskward and reduced the cross‐tail current at the onset. For dawnward‐propagating beads, the electric field was equatorward/earthward, and electrons were inferred to accumulate earthward of ions. The mapped bead propagation speed was comparable to the dawnwardand electron drift speeds. The duskward ion drift and tail current were reduced, and electrons became the dominant current carrier. We suggest that the plasma species that is responsible for the bead propagation changes with the electric field configuration and that the tail current reduction by the enhanceddrift at onset destabilizes the plasma sheet. Ion and electron outflows substantially increased low‐energy plasma density and may have increased the role ofdrifts. The bead wavelength was comparable to ion gyroradius and thus ion kinetic effects are important for determining the wavelength. In the dawnward‐propagating event, the mode of oscillation in the plasma sheet was suggested to be the sausage‐mode flapping oscillations.

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Award ID(s):
1907698 2100975 2055192
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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