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Turner et al. [2000] analyzed the contribution of cross-tail currents to the Dst index. In order to estimate this contribution we used modified versions of the Tsyganenko models which had been adjusted to match spacecraft data in the tail, and we isolated a tail region and calculated its influence. We concluded that the tail currents were responsible for around 25% of the Dst response during moderately disturbed times. Maltsev and Ostapenko [2002] conclude that our estimate was low by a factor of 2, owing to that fact that we neglected dayside currents and that the model we used systematically underestimates the cross-tail current system. We appreciate their insightful analysis of our work, but we disagree with their conclusions. The models we used were modified to match spacecraft data in the tail, so we do not feel they underestimate the tail currents, and we consider the tail currents to be primarily located in the magnetotail, so we feel our decision to neglect dayside currents was justified. Additionally, we feel that some of the discrepancies between our results and theirs are due to different definitions of tail and ring currents and our decisions on whether to include the induced ground current contribution in our estimates of the tail current contribution to Dst. Here we respond briefly to their arguments and conclude that we still find the approximate magnitude of the tail current contribution to Dst to be around 25%. Additionally, Maltsev and Ostapenko include their own analysis of the tail current contribution to Dst, but we will limit our response to those comments which directly relate to our work.





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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics