Statistical analysis of storm-time near-Earth current systems

M. W. Liemohn, R. M. Katus, R. Ilie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Currents from the Hot Electron and Ion Drift Integrator (HEIDI) inner magnetospheric model results for all of the 90 intense storms (disturbance storm-time (Dst) minimum < -100 nT) from solar cycle 23 (1996-2005) are calculated, presented, and analyzed. We have categorized these currents into the various systems that exist in near-Earth space, specifically the eastward and westward symmetric ring current, the partial ring current, the banana current, and the tail current. The current results from each run set are combined by a normalized superposed epoch analysis technique that scales the timeline of each phase of each storm before summing the results. It is found that there is a systematic ordering to the current systems, with the asymmetric current systems peaking during storm main phase (tail current rising first, then the banana current, followed by the partial ring current) and the symmetric current systems peaking during the early recovery phase (westward and eastward symmetric ring current having simultaneous maxima). The median and mean peak amplitudes for the current systems ranged from 1 to 3 MA, depending on the setup configuration used in HEIDI, except for the eastward symmetric ring current, for which the mean never exceeded 0.3 MA for any HEIDI setup. The self-consistent electric field description in HEIDI yielded larger tail and banana currents than the Volland-Stern electric field, while the partial and symmetric ring currents had similar peak values between the two applied electric field models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-982
Number of pages18
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 7 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetospheric physics (current systems; storms and substorms)
  • space plasma physics (numerical simulation studies)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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