Convenor: Andrew Yau (Canada)
Co-Convenor: Lasse Clausen (Norway)
Together, the polar cap and the auroral zone constitute the Earth’s high latitude region, and a key region of mass, momentum and energy transfer within the coupled system of solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere. On the one hand, the size of the polar cap and the morphology of the aurora provide an indication of the instantaneous structure and dynamics of the magnetoshere. On the other hand, ionospheric plasma drifts are a measure of flux transport in the magnetospheric convection cycle. The drifting patches of enhanced ionization across the polar cap are an indication of ionospheric structuring by time-dependent electrodynamics. The auroral zone is the site of energy deposition through particle precipitation and Joule heating, and plays an active role in the dynamics of the magnetosphere by providing current closure and ionospheric outflow. Understanding the complex coupling of high-latitude electrodynamics, ionospheric structuring and outflow, and magnetospheric dynamics, including the role of substorms and geomagnetic storms therein, is of vital importance in the physics of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling.
Papers on modeling studies and both ground and space-based observations of this coupling are solicited. Comparisons of numerical model simulations with observations from multiple platforms will be very welcome.