A pseudobreakup is a phenomenon similar to the substorm expansive phase onset, including an activation of an auroral arc, a burst of Pi2 micropulsations, and enhancement of the westward electrojet. However, these effects are weak and a pseudobreak is generally assumed to be very localized. The pseudobreakups are discussed based on simultaneous observations made in space and on the ground during the substorm growth phase. In the events studied the main features listed above are found, but the significance of the localization is unclear. The optical pseudobreakup, with associated magnetic perturbations, is highly localized, but simultaneously a wide local time sector of the auroral oval may be activated. The major differences between pseudobreakups and substorm expansive phase onsets are concluded to be the intensity and the development that follows. Careful study of pseudobreakups may help to determine phase initiation, and the role of the ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling in the substorm process.
ESA, Substorms 1; p 111-116