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Extreme solar-terrestrial events of October 2003: High-latitude and Cluster observations of the large geomagnetic disturbances on 30 October

Abstract : The extremely large solar eruption on 28 October 2003 caused an intense geomagnetic storm at Earth. A second solar eruption on 29 October resulted in a reintensification of the storm about a day later. Similarities and differences between these two events in terms of solar eruption, solar wind driver, and their resulting effect on the near-Earth environment are investigated and put into context of previous works on storm geoeffectivness. Within the second storm some of the strongest substorms in the history of magnetic recordings occurred in northern Scandinavia. The aim of this study is to investigate the cause and resulting effects of these extreme geomagnetic disturbances on the ionosphere and upper atmosphere, focusing on the northern Scandinavian sector where these disturbances reached extremely high values. During this time period, well after the initial arrival of the Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejection (ICME), the Cluster spacecraft were located at the flank of the magnetospheric tail. The satellites were passed several times by an inward and consecutively outward moving magnetopause in close relation to the substorm intensifications in northern Scandinavia. We propose that the evolution of these magnetospheric substorm intensifications are influenced by the changing dynamics of the solar wind in the form of increased pressure occurring after a prolonged period of southward Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) and thus excessive energy loading into the magnetosphere prior to the onset of the intensifications. We present evidence of external pressure pulse triggering and possibly also quenching of these substorm onsets and recoveries. In addition, EISCAT data have been used to investigate the detailed local behavior of the ionospheric plasma, giving rise to such extreme disturbances. We found that in this case, extreme combinations of enhanced conductivity and intense electric field resulted in very high current intensities (westward electrojet ∼7.4 MA) and very fast onset of such currents. The inline equation associated geomagnetically induced currents caused power failures in southern Sweden.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 4:07:20 PM
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L. Rosenqvist, H. Opgenoorth, S. Buchert, I. Mccrea, O. Amm, et al.. Extreme solar-terrestrial events of October 2003: High-latitude and Cluster observations of the large geomagnetic disturbances on 30 October. Journal of Geophysical Research Space Physics, American Geophysical Union/Wiley, 2005, 110 (A9), pp.A09S23. ⟨10.1029/2004JA010927⟩. ⟨insu-00356504⟩



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