Compression of the Earth's magnetotail by interplanetary shocks directly drives transient magnetic flux closure

Tutkimustuotos: Lehtiartikkeli


  • B Hubert
  • M Palmroth
  • TV Laitinen
  • P Janhunen
  • SE Milan
  • A Grocott
  • SWH Cowley
  • Tuija Pulkkinen

  • JC Gerard


  • University of Liege
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • University of Leicester


We use a novel method to evaluate the global opening and closure of magnetic flux in the terrestrial system, and to analyse two interplanetary shock passages that occurred during magnetically quiet periods. We find that, even under these quiet conditions, where the amount of open flux was already low, the compression of the magnetotail by the shocks still created intense but short-lived bursts of flux closure reaching similar to 130 kV, comparable to values obtained shortly after a substorm onset, although no expansion phase developed. The results, supported by a global MHD simulation of the space environment, point to a trigger mechanism of flux closure directly driven by the solar wind compression, independent of the usual substorm expansion phase process.


JulkaisuGeophysical Research Letters
TilaJulkaistu - 31 toukokuuta 2006
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Julkaistu artikkeli, soviteltu

ID: 2605988