Catapult current sheet relaxation model confirmed by THEMIS observations

Monday, 15 December 2014
Shinobu Machida1, Yukinaga Miyashita1, Akimasa Ieda1, Masahito Nose2, Vassilis Angelopoulos3 and James P McFadden4, (1)Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan, (2)Kyoto University, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto, Japan, (3)University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (4)University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States
In this study, we show the result of superposed epoch analysis on the THEMIS probe data during the period from November, 2007 to April, 2009 by setting the origin of time axis to the substorm onset determined by Nishimura with THEMIS all sky imager (THEMS/ASI) data ( We confirmed the presence of earthward flows which can be associated with north-south auroral streamers during the substorm growth phase. At around X = −12 Earth radii (Re), the northward magnetic field and its elevation angle decreased markedly approximately 4 min before substorm onset. A northward magnetic-field increase associated with pre-onset earthward flows was found at around X = −17Re. This variation indicates the occurrence of the local depolarization. Interestingly, in the region earthwards of X = −18Re, earthward flows in the central plasma sheet (CPS) reduced significantly about 3min before substorm onset. However, the earthward flows enhanced again at t = −60 sec in the region around X = −14 Re, and they moved toward the Earth. At t = 0, the dipolarization of the magnetic field started at X ~ -10 Re, and simultaneously the magnetic reconnection started at X ~ −20 Re. Synthesizing these results, we can confirm the validity of our catapult current sheet relaxation model.