Magnetopause plasma transients: mapping into the auroral ionosphere
Attention is focused on a specific category of auroral event occurring predominantly during a southward directed interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Coordinated observations from the ground and satellites in polar orbit have been used to study the temporal/spatial development of the events in relation to the background patterns of particle precipitation and ionospheric convection as well as the field-aligned current and ion drift characteristics of the individual events. Both prenoon and postnoon sector events are reported. In one case the auroral event was observed near the zero point potential line separating the morning and postnoon convection cells. The available data indicate that this auroral event sequence is a signature of quasi-periodic bursts of particle entry from the magnetosheath along flux tubes convecting into the polar cap, representing structures of enhanced IMF B Y -related convection poleward of the persistent cleft aurora. Such events may be initiated by localized patches of enhanced merging rate at the dayside magnetopause.
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