Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date



We analyze the response times of various regions of the magnetosphere-ionosphere system to sudden southward turnings of the IMF. Our data set consists of 26 events during which the IMP BZ component was observed by WIND to change from a stea northward field to a southward field, which subsequently led to a substorm. The magnetospheric response to such IMF southward turnings is examined using data from the POLAR EFI experiment, the GOES 9 magnetometer, and ground magnetometers. The POLAR/EFI was used to investigate changes in the polar cap electric field which occurred in response to the changing interplanetary electric field, and these results are compared with response timings derived from high-latitude ground magnetometers. POLAR/EFI data show responses in the polar cap about 15 minutes after the arrival of the IMF change at the magnetopause. Auroral zone magnetograms and geosynchronous spacecraft measurements are utilized to evaluate the response timing within the closed field line region. In one event examined in detail, the start of a substorm growth phase was observed by GOES 9 in the midnight sector of geosynchronous orbit about two minutes before POLAR observed a response in the polar cap. Using superposed epoch analysis, we calculate typical response times in the polar cap, in the nightside plasma sheet, and in the ionosphere in order to discuss the various suggested mechanisms for information propagation from the subsolar magnetopause into the magnetosphere. We find that for the set of ten events for which the GOES 9 and the CANOPUS array are in the midnight sector, the field at geosynchronous as measured by GOES responds at or before the time of response in the polar cap as measured by POLAR, suggesting different methods of information propagation.


S. Kokubun & Y. Kamide


Terra Scientific





Publication Information

Substorms-4: International Conference on Substorms-4, Lake Hamana, Japan, March 9-13, 1998