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  1. Recent attention has been given to mesoscale phenomena across geospace (∼10 s km to 500 km in the ionosphere or ∼0.5 R E to several R E in the magnetosphere), as their contributions to the system global response are important yet remain uncharacterized mostly due to limitations in data resolution and coverage as well as in computational power. As data and models improve, it becomes increasingly valuable to advance understanding of the role of mesoscale phenomena contributions—specifically, in magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. This paper describes a new method that utilizes the 2D array of Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) white-light all-sky-imagers (ASI), in conjunction with meridian scanning photometers, to estimate the auroral scale sizes of intense precipitating energy fluxes and the associated Hall conductances. As an example of the technique, we investigated the role of precipitated energy flux and average energy on mesoscales as contrasted to large-scales for two back-to-back substorms, finding that mesoscale aurora contributes up to ∼80% (∼60%) of the total energy flux immediately after onset during the early expansion phase of the first (second) substorm, and continues to contribute ∼30–55% throughout the remainder of the substorm. The average energy estimated from the ASI mosaic field ofmore »view also peaked during the initial expansion phase. Using the measured energy flux and tables produced from the Boltzmann Three Constituent (B3C) auroral transport code (Strickland et al., 1976; 1993), we also estimated the 2D Hall conductance and compared it to Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar conductance values, finding good agreement for both discrete and diffuse aurora.« less
  2. Flow bursts are a major component of transport within the plasma sheet and auroral oval (where they are referred to as flow channels), and lead to a variety of geomagnetic disturbances as they approach the inner plasma sheet (equatorward portion of the auroral oval). However, their two-dimensional structure as they approach the inner plasma sheet has received only limited attention. We have examined this structure using both the Rice Convection Model (RCM) and ground-based radar and all sky imager observations. As a result of the energy dependent magnetic drift, the low entropy plasma of a flow burst spreads azimuthally within the inner plasma sheet yielding specific predictions of subauroral polarization stream (SAPS) and dawnside auroral polarization stream (DAPS) enhancements that are related to the field-aligned currents associated with the flow channel. Flow channels approximately centered between the dawn and dusk large-scale convection cells are predicted to give significant enhancements of both SAPS and DAPS, whereas flow channel further toward the dusk (dawn) convection cell show a far more significant enhancement of SAPS (DAPS) than for DAPS (SAPS). We present observations for cases having good coverage of flow channels as they approach the equatorward portion of the auroral oval and findmore »very good qualitative agreement with the above RCM predictions, including the predicted differences with respect to flow burst location. Despite there being an infinite variety of flow channels’ plasma parameters and of background plasma sheet and auroral oval conditions, the observations show the general trends predicted by the RCM simulations with the idealized parameters. This supports that RCM predictions of the azimuthal spread of a low-entropy plasma sheet plasma and its associated FAC and flow responses give a realistic physical description of the structure of plasma sheet flow bursts (auroral oval flow channels) as they reach the inner plasma sheet (near the equatorward edge of the auroral oval).« less
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