Large-scale jets in the magnetosheath and plasma penetration across the magnetopause: THEMIS observations

A. V. Dmitriev, A. V. Suvorova

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32 Scopus citations


Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms multipoint observation of the plasma and magnetic fields, conducted simultaneously in the dayside magnetosheath and magnetosphere, were used to collect 646 large-scale magnetosheath plasma jets interacting with the magnetopause. The jets were identified as dense and fast streams of the magnetosheath plasma whose energy density is higher than that of the upstream solar wind. The jet interaction with the magnetopause was revealed from sudden inward motion of the magnetopause and an enhancement in the geomagnetic field. The penetration was determined as appearance of the magnetosheath plasma against the background of the hot magnetospheric particle population. We found that almost 60% of the jets penetrated through the magnetopause. Vast majority of the penetrating jets was characterized by high velocities V>220km/s and kinetic βk>1 that corresponded to a combination of finite Larmor radius effect with a mechanism of impulsive penetration. The average plasma flux in the penetrating jets was found to be 1.5 times larger than the average plasma flux of the solar wind. The average rate of jet-related penetration of the magnetosheath plasma into the dayside magnetosphere was estimated to be ~1029particles/d. The rate varies highly with time and can achieve values of 1.5×1029particles/h that is comparable with estimates of the total amount of plasma entering the dayside magnetosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4423-4437
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • magnetopause
  • magnetosheath
  • plasma jets
  • plasma transport into the magnetosphere


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