Conference Themes

This is an exciting time in the history of substorm research. Our community is bringing tools from fundamental plasma physics, ever more realistic simulations and models, and innovative new in situ and remote observations to problems related to the substorm. During ICS-8, we are going to review where we are at now (theme 1), explore recent advances in the study of the substorm and related geospace phenomena (theme 2), discuss new frontiers such as substorms and related processes in other cosmic systems as well as natural complexity (theme 3), and end with a nod to the future (theme 4).

Themes 1 and 4 will be addressed during the opening and closing sessions. The remainder of the meeting will be taken up by themes 2 and 3. The topics organized under the four themes (below) were suggested by members of the scientific program committee. In setting up the program, we will be responsive to the topics covered by submitted papers. However, we anticipate that theme 2 will comprise all of Monday through Thursday (excluding the opening session).

1) Opening session: Where are we now?
  1. What is the present understanding of the substorm process?
  2. What are the outstanding issues?
  3. Review of the Storm-Substorm Workshop results.

2) New insights from fundamental plasma physics, models, simulations, and observations:

  1. Sequence of events and causality

    - time history of macroscale substorm processes
    - growth and expansive phase global convection
    - fast flows
    - the rarefaction wave

  2. Role of local processes in global substorm dynamics

    - relationship of local processes to global reconfiguration
    - role of thin current sheets and reconnection in substorms
    - role of turbulence in substorm plasma sheet dynamics
    - role of waves (kink, sausage, ULF, etc) in the substorm
    - role of instabilities (ballooning, KH, etc) in the substorm

  3. External control of substorm trigger and development

    - the effect of solar wind/IMF variations on the CPS
    - substorms as a response to solar wind/IMF variations
    - strongly driven magnetospheric dynamics (sawtooth, SMC)
    - non-triggered substorms

  4. Substorm effects on the inner magnetosphere

    - substorms and the main phase ring current
    - magnetotail driving of inner magnetospheric dynamics (injections, etc.)
    - substorm effects on the radiation belts

  5. Ionospheric role in substorm development

    - interhemispheric conjugacy in substorms
    - magnetospheric signatures of low altitude processes
    - ionospheric signatures of magnetospheric events
    - substorm effects on the mid-latitude ionosphere

3) New Frontiers - Other planetary magnetospheres and cross-disciplinary research.

  1. Solar wind - magnetosphere - ionosphere coupling at other planets.
  2. How do observations of possible dipolarizations and associated energization of hot plasma at Saturn and Mercury fit with our Earth-based understanding of substorms?
  3. Magnetars and other more distant but likely related cosmic phenomena.
  4. How general are substorms in the cosmos: what are the basic observables of solar wind - magnetosphere coupling and how often would we expect to see those in the universe?
  5. Complexity in geospace and coronal processes
  6. Self Organized Criticality (SOC) in magnetospheric and coronal plasmas

4) Closing session: Overview of the results of the meeting and look to the future.

  1. THEMIS Mission Overview: Solicited talk by Vassilis Angelopoulos.
  2. The THEMIS Challenge: Will THEMIS be able to test causality?
  3. MMS Mission Overview: Solicited talk by James Burch.
  4. Several key scientists will be challenged to provide an overview of the meeting.
  5. Establishment of themes and challenges for the community to be achieved before ICS-9.
  6. ICS – how should the meeting evolve in the future?