Nightside Magnetic Impulsive Events: Statistics and Possible Mechanisms

  • Andrei VorobevEmail author
  • Vyacheslav Pilipenko
  • Mark Engebretson
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Earth and Environmental Sciences book series (SPEES)


At night, both against the background of substorms, and during magnetically quiet time, magnetic impulse events (MIEs) are often recorded at high-latitude stations. MIEs are pulses of large amplitude (of the order of tens to hundreds of nT in both horizontal and vertical components) with a characteristic duration of 5–10 min, localized in space with scales of about first hundred kilometers. Such rapid geomagnetic field changes can cause extreme values of geomagnetically induced currents that have a negative impact on infrastructure objects. The paper presents the results of analysis of statistical distributions for the values of amplitude and rate of change of geomagnetic variations at night, recorded during 2015–2017 in northeastern Canada (station Igloolik at geomagnetic latitude 77.6°). Both distributions are well approximated by the log-normal law, whereas tails of the distributions may be also approximated by the power-law function. According to the statistics obtained, the MIEs with dB/dt > 10 nT/s occur ~40 times per year. Possible generation mechanisms of nighttime isolated and multiple MIEs are associated with bursty bulk flows in the magnetotail.


Magnetic impulse events Substorm Geomagnetically induced currents Ps6 pulsations 



This work was supported by grant 16-17-00121 from the Russian Science Foundation. Magnetometer data from MACCS are available at, from AUTUMNX at, and from CARISMA at


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrei Vorobev
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Vyacheslav Pilipenko
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mark Engebretson
    • 4
  1. 1.Ufa State Aviation Technical UniversityUfaRussia
  2. 2.Geophysical Center of the Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Institute of Physics of the EarthMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Augsburg UniversityMinneapolisUSA

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