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Extreme Birkeland Currents Are More Likely During Geomagnetic Storms on the Dayside of the Earth

Coxon, John C; Chisham, Gareth; Freeman, Mervyn P; Forsyth, Colin; Walach, Maria‐Theresia; Murphy, Kyle R; Vines, Sarah K; ... Fogg, Alexandra R; + view all (2023) Extreme Birkeland Currents Are More Likely During Geomagnetic Storms on the Dayside of the Earth. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics , 128 (12) , Article e2023JA031946. 10.1029/2023ja031946. Green open access

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Abstract

We examine the statistical distribution of large‐scale Birkeland currents measured by the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment in four unique categories of geomagnetic activity for the first time: quiet times, storm times, quiet‐time substorms, and storm‐time substorms. A novel method is employed to sort data into one of these four categories, and the categorizations are provided for future research. The mean current density is largest during substorms and its standard deviation is largest during geomagnetic storms. Current densities which are above a low threshold are more likely during substorms, but extreme currents are far more likely during geomagnetic storms, consistent with a paradigm in which geomagnetic storms represent periods of enhanced variability over quiet times. We demonstrate that extreme currents are most likely to flow within the Region 2 current during geomagnetic storms. This is unexpected in a paradigm of the current systems in which Region 1 current is generally larger.

Type: Article
Title: Extreme Birkeland Currents Are More Likely During Geomagnetic Storms on the Dayside of the Earth
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2023ja031946
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2023ja031946
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10184178
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