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The recovery phase ends the substorm. See, e.g., Opgenoorth et al. (1994).

  • Lasts about one hour
  • Plasma sheet recovers.
  • Subauroral electric field events occur (see ionospheric troughs)
  • Double oval structure forms, and eastward propagating omega bands are seen on the equatorward one
  • Pulsating auroras are very typical in the morning sector; also black aurora may be related to the recovery phase.
  • Magnetosphere returns into the pre-substorm state
  • May also prepare the magnetosphere for the next substorm


  • Opgenoorth, H. J., M. A. L. Persson, T. I. Pulkkinen, and R. J. Pellinen, The recovery phase of magnetospheric substorms and its association with morning-sector aurora, J. Geophys. Res., 99, 4115-, 1994.
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