Formation and Release of the Harang Reversal Relating With the Substorm Onset Process

T. Tanaka, Y. Ebihara, M. Watanabe, M. Den, S. Fujita, T. Kikuchi, K. K. Hashimoto, R. Kataoka

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5 Citations (Scopus)


With the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) that turns from northward to southward, the global simulation successively reproduces the growth phase, the onset, and the expansion phase of the substorm. The calculated ionospheric convection for the growth phase reproduces the development of the Harang reversal (HR), the upward field-aligned current (FAC), and the upcoming onset point as observed. Magnetic field lines traced from the center of the nightside upward FAC are open, while the magnetic field line traced from the onset point is closed. These open magnetic field lines map to flow shear just outside the O/C boundary. Seen from the magnetic configuration, the growth phase proceeds as the replacement process of nulls. Two new nulls appear on the dayside under the southward IMF, while two old nulls under the northward IMF retreat tailward forming two bifurcation regions on the dawn and dusk flanks. Flow shear around the O/C boundary forms by magnetospheric convection that returns to the dayside via bifurcation regions. The expansion phase proceeds through a topological change by the near-earth neutral line (NENL). The NENL occurs inside the thinned structure of the northward IMF remnant, on the low-latitude side of the flow shear, and projects down to the low-latitude edge of the upward FAC. Associated with the NENL, the convection return path changes to the center of the plasma sheet and reveals in the ionosphere as the release of the HR. By the shrinkage of projecting magnetic field line, the O/C boundary migrates poleward in the ionosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JA028170
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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