AGF-345 Polar Magnetospheric Substorms (10 ECTS)

Aurora Borealis

How to apply

ID:
AGF-345
CREDITS:
10 ECTS
START DATE:
29 October 2018
END DATE:
5 December 2018
COURSE PERIOD:
Autumn semester (October–December), annually.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
10 ECTS with AGF-845
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Selected chapters from compendia and lecture notes; Ca. 400 pages
COURSE COSTS:
None
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
8/16 students (AGF-345/845 in total)
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 April 2018

INSTRUCTORS:

Lisa Baddeley
Lisa Baddeley
Associate professor, Space physics – radar applications

Course responsible: Dr. Stein Haaland, University of Bergen

Course blog 2018 (curriculum, timetable etc.)

Course requirements:

Enrolment in a relevant master programme. General knowledge of plasma physics and electrodynamics.

Academic content:

This research course gives an overview of polar magnetospheric substorms, the primary process responsible for large-scale auroral breakups. A substorm is a transient event where a large amount of energy is deposited in the high-latitude ionosphere. On the ground, this is typically manifested in the form of intense aurora and disturbances in the geomagnetic field. This course provides a historical overview of substorm research and introduces the terminology and models that are used to explain the phenomenon. Key elements in the chain of interactions that constitute a substorm are discussed.

Covered topics include solar wind – magnetosphere coupling, magnetic reconnection, energy accumulation and storage, energy release and introduction to plasma instabilities that are thought to be responsible for the triggering of substorms. Also discussed are the auroral acceleration region, ionospheric effects of substorms and energy budget. The course consists of a combination of lectures, exercises and project work. Measurements obtained at the Kjell Henriksen Auroral Observatory and/or the EISCAT Svalbard radar station form the basis of a written report.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will:

Be able to describe what a polar magnetospheric substorm is, know the most important processes involved, know the fundamental substorm models and be familiar with the terminology used in discussing polar magnetospheric substorms.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will:

Be able to analyse data from a suite of ground and space instruments and use this data to identify processes, determine the sequence of events and to be able to estimate the energy budget of a substorm.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will:

Be able to perform an independent investigation of a substorm and present the result of this investigation in the form of a written report.

Learning activities:

The course extends over 5 weeks including compulsory safety training, and is run in combination with AGF-845.

Three essential components ensure effective learning:

  1. Focussed lectures given by specialists in their fields.
  2. Solving exercises related to the lectures. Students prepare and present solutions to these exercises.
  3. Visit to the Kjell Henriksen Auroral Observatory and/or the EISCAT Svalbard radar station where students are introduced to instrumentation used for substorm research.

Based on observations obtained during the course period, the students will have approximately 10 days to investigate a substorm event and prepare a project report which will assess the student’s skills in project management, data analysis and science writing.

Total lecture hours: Ca. 40 hours.
Total exercises: Ca. 25 hours.
Excursion: Visit to the Kjell Henriksen Auroral Observatory and/or the EISCAT Svalbard Radar: 1–2 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

Excursion to the Kjell Henriksen Auroral Observatory and/or the EISCAT Svalbard radar station.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
Written report 50%
Oral exam 45 minutes 50%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.
Only the final grade will be reported, based on an average of the grades from the examination parts.

Application deadline: 15 April 2018

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

CONTACT INFO

The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
Fax: +47 79 02 33 01
E-mail: post@unis.no / webmaster@unis.no
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454

Sitemap

UNIS logo

Slogan

Research-based education of the next generation of Arctic experts

TOP