Traveling magnetopause distortion related to a large-scale magnetosheath plasma jet: THEMIS and ground-based observations

A. V. Dmitriev, A. V. Suvorova

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Abstract

Here, we present a case study of THEMIS and ground-based observations of the perturbed dayside magnetopause and the geomagnetic field in relation to the interaction of an interplanetary directional discontinuity (DD) with the magnetosphere on 16 June 2007. The interaction resulted in a large-scale local magnetopause distortion of an "expansion-compression-expansion" (ECE) sequence that lasted for ∼15 min. The compression was caused by a very dense, cold, and fast high-magnetosheath plasma flow, a so-called plasma jet, whose kinetic energy was approximately three times higher than the energy of the incident solar wind. The plasma jet resulted in the effective penetration of magnetosheath plasma inside the magnetosphere. A strong distortion of the Chapman-Ferraro current in the ECE sequence generated a tripolar magnetic pulse "decrease-peak-decrease" (DPD) that was observed at low and middle latitudes by some ground-based magnetometers of the INTERMAGNET network. The characteristics of the ECE sequence and the spatial-temporal dynamics of the DPD pulse were found to be very different from any reported patterns of DD interactions with the magnetosphere. The observed features only partially resembled structures such as FTE, hot flow anomalies, and transient density events. Thus, it is difficult to explain them in the context of existing models.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA08217
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume117
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

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