IMF dependence of the azimuthal direction of earthward magnetotail fast flows
2013 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, Vol. 40, 5598-5604 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Cluster magnetotail data together with ACE solar wind data from 2001 to 2009 are used to investigate the dependence of the azimuthal flow direction of earthward magnetotail fast flows on the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). We find an indication that fast flows have favored azimuthal directions that have dependence on the IMF. Our results suggest that for positive IMF By, the favored azimuthal direction of the fast flows is dawnward in the northern plasma sheet and duskward in the southern plasma sheet. For negative IMF By, an opposite situation takes place, the favored azimuthal flow directions are then duskward and dawnward in the northern and southern plasma sheet, respectively. As a possible explanation for the results, it is suggested that the untwisting reconnected magnetic field lines may direct the fast flows in the magnetotail, the field line twist itself being dependent on the IMF.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2013. Vol. 40, 5598-5604 p.
fast flows, plasma sheet, magnetotail dynamics
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Research subject Space Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84715DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058136OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-84715DiVA: diva2:688608