Magnetic field topology of the plasma sheet boundary layer

Teh Wai Leong, R. Nakamura, W. Baumjohann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The magnetic field topology of the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) and its neighborhood is examined using a steady, two-dimensional (2-D), ideal MHD reconstruction method. We study four PSBL crossings, from the lobe toward the plasma sheet and back into the lobe, by the Cluster spacecraft in the Earth's magnetotail around (x, y, z) = (-17.3, 4.3, -6.3) RE in GSM. The four PSBL events are selected for having no intense ion beams. Two reconstructed magnetic field topologies give, for the first time, a 3-D view of the PSBL, showing that one has a rather large gradient in the magnetic structure than another. A quantitative agreement of the current density between the reconstruction and curlometer methods is achieved for the overall results but with some discrepancies remaining, which will be discussed in terms of 3-D and temporal effects. This agreement indicates that the current density can be estimated by the reconstruction if certain conditions are satisfied. Finally, we point out that a PSBL structure with intense ion beams would somehow degrade the accuracy of the ideal MHD reconstruction. This degradation may be due to the nonideal MHD properties and/or the transient properties of the ion beams. Further sophisticated investigations on this issue are needed for clarification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4059-4065
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume118
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

magnetic fields
topology
boundary layers
Boundary layers
boundary layer
Topology
ions
Magnetic fields
magnetic field
Plasmas
plasma
Magnetohydrodynamics
Ion beams
ion beams
lobes
ion
Current density
current density
geomagnetic tail
degradation

Keywords

  • Plasma Sheet boundary Layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Magnetic field topology of the plasma sheet boundary layer. / Wai Leong, Teh; Nakamura, R.; Baumjohann, W.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 118, No. 7, 2013, p. 4059-4065.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wai Leong, Teh ; Nakamura, R. ; Baumjohann, W. / Magnetic field topology of the plasma sheet boundary layer. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. 2013 ; Vol. 118, No. 7. pp. 4059-4065.
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