A possible source mechanism for magnetotail current sheet flapping

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Juusola , L , Pfau-Kempf , Y , Ganse , U , Battarbee , M , Brito , T , Grandin , M , Turc , L & Palmroth , M 2018 , ' A possible source mechanism for magnetotail current sheet flapping ' , Annales Geophysicae , vol. 36 , no. 4 , pp. 1027-1035 . https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-36-1027-2018

Title: A possible source mechanism for magnetotail current sheet flapping
Author: Juusola, Liisa; Pfau-Kempf, Yann; Ganse, Urs; Battarbee, Markus; Brito, Thiago; Grandin, Maxime; Turc, Lucile; Palmroth, Minna
Contributor organization: Department of Physics
Space Physics Research Group
Date: 2018-07-27
Language: eng
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Annales Geophysicae
ISSN: 0992-7689
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-36-1027-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/238326
Abstract: The origin of the flapping motions of the current sheet in the Earth's magnetotail is one of the most interesting questions of magnetospheric dynamics yet to be solved. We have used a polar plane simulation from the global hybrid-Vlasov model Vlasiator to study the characteristics and source of current sheet flapping in the center of the magnetotail. The characteristics of the simulated signatures agree with observations reported in the literature. The flapping is initiated by a hemispherically asymmetric magnetopause perturbation, created by subsolar magnetopause reconnection, that is capable of displacing the tail current sheet from its nominal position. The current sheet displacement propagates downtail at the same pace as the driving magnetopause perturbation. The initial current sheet displacement launches a standing magnetosonic wave within the tail resonance cavity. The travel time of the wave within the local cavity determines the period of the subsequent flapping signatures. Compression of the tail lobes due to added flux affects the cross-sectional width of the resonance cavity as well as the magnetosonic speed within the cavity. These in turn modify the wave travel time and flapping period. The compression of the resonance cavity may also provide additional energy to the standing wave, which may lead to strengthening of the flapping signature. It may be possible that the suggested mechanism could act as a source of kink-like waves that have been observed to be emitted from the center of the tail and to propagate toward the dawn and dusk flanks.
115 Astronomy, Space science
114 Physical sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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