Ps 6 disturbances: Relation to substorms and the auroral oval

M. Connors, G. Rostoker, G. Sofko, R. L. McPherron, M. G. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Ps 6 disturbances and associated omega bands are often considered to be part of the phenomenology of the recovery phase of substorms. We note cases of the initiation of Ps 6 activity at or very near the time of onset, either of a substorm expansive phase, a pseudobreakup, or a poleward border intensification. Thus, we claim that Ps 6 disturbances need not be viewed primarily as phenomena of the recovery phase. This produces both the challenge of explaining Ps 6 within a broader context and the opportunity to use Ps 6 observations to better understand magnetospheric phenomenology, including expansive phase onsets. We further examine the position of the causative currents for Ps 6 and find that they may be located at either the equatorward or poleward border of the auroral oval, or within it. In the first case, the relationship of expansive phase onset and time delay to Ps 6 initiation appears to be very short. In the latter case, there is an association with poleward border intensification, but with a measurable time delay. We present HF radar data to discuss how the electric field at onset time favors the growth of Ps 6 current systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-508
Number of pages16
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb. 2003


  • Electric fields
  • MHD waves and instabilities
  • Magnetospheric physics
  • Storms and substorms


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