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  • Pfau-Kempf, Yann; Hietala, Heli; Milan, Steve E.; Juusola, Liisa; Hoilijoki, Sanni; Ganse, Urs; von Alfthan, Sebastian; Palmroth, Minna (2016)
    We present a scenario resulting in time-dependent behaviour of the bow shock and transient, local ion reflection under unchanging solar wind conditions. Dayside magnetopause reconnection produces flux transfer events driving fast-mode wave fronts in the magnetosheath. These fronts push out the bow shock surface due to their increased downstream pressure. The resulting bow shock deformations lead to a configuration favourable to localized ion reflection and thus the formation of transient, travelling foreshock-like field-aligned ion beams. This is identified in two-dimensional global magnetospheric hybrid-Vlasov simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere performed using the Vlasiator model ( We also present observational data showing the occurrence of dayside reconnection and flux transfer events at the same time as Geotail observations of transient foreshock-like field-aligned ion beams. The spacecraft is located well upstream of the fore-shock edge and the bow shock, during a steady southward interplanetary magnetic field and in the absence of any solar wind or interplanetary magnetic field perturbations. This indicates the formation of such localized ion foreshocks.
  • Myllys, M.; Partamies, N.; Juusola, L. (2015)
    To validate the usage of global indices in studies of geomagnetic activity, we have examined the latitude dependence of geomagnetic variations in Fennoscandia and Svalbard from 1994 to 2010. Daily standard deviation (SD) values of the horizontal magnetic field have been used as a measure of the ground magnetic disturbance level. We found that the timing of the geomagnetic minimum depends on the latitude region: corresponding to the minimum of sunspot cycle 22 (in 1996), the geomagnetic minimum occurred between the geomagnetic latitudes 57-61 degrees in 1996 and at the latitudes 64-67 degrees in 1997, which are the average auroral oval latitudes. During sunspot cycle 23, all latitude regions experienced the minimum in 2009, a year after the sunspot minimum. These timing differences are due to the latitude dependence of the 10 s daily SD on the different solar wind drivers. In the latitude region of 64-67 degrees, the impact of the high-speed solar wind streams (HSSs) on the geomagnetic activity is the most pronounced compared to the other latitude groups, while in the latitude region of 57-61 degrees, the importance of the coronal mass ejections (CMEs) dominates. The geomagnetic activity maxima during ascending solar cycle phases are typically caused by CME activity and occur especially in the oval and sub-auroral regions. The strongest geomagnetic activity occurs during the descending solar cycle phases due to a mixture of CME and HSS activity. Closer to the solar minimum, less severe geomagnetic activity is driven by HSSs and mainly visible in the poleward part of the auroral region. According to our study, however, the timing of the geomagnetic activity minima (and maxima) in different latitude bands is different, due to the relative importance of different solar wind drivers at different latitudes.
  • Pulkkinen, T. I.; Dimmock, A. P.; Lakka, A.; Osmane, A.; Kilpua, E.; Myllys, M.; Tanskanen, E. I.; Viljanen, A. (2016)
    We examine the role of the magnetosheath in solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling using the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms plasma and magnetic field observations in the magnetosheath together with OMNI solar wind data and auroral electrojet recordings from the International Monitor for Auroral Geomagnetic Effects (IMAGE) magnetometer chain. We demonstrate that the electric field and Poynting flux reaching the magnetopause are not linear functions of the electric field and Poynting flux observed in the solar wind: the electric field and Poynting flux at the magnetopause during higher driving conditions are lower than those predicted from a linear function. We also show that the Poynting flux normal to the magnetopause is linearly correlated with the directly driven part of the auroral electrojets in the ionosphere. This indicates that the energy entering the magnetosphere in the form of the Poynting flux is directly responsible for driving the electrojets. Furthermore, we argue that the polar cap potential saturation discussed in the literature is associated with the way solar wind plasma gets processed during the bow shock crossing and motion within the magnetosheath.