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Transient, small-scale field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer during storm time substorms
Austrian Acad Sci, Space Res Inst, A-8010 Graz, Austria..
St Petersburg State Univ, Earth Phys Dept, St Petersburg 199034, Russia..
Austrian Acad Sci, Space Res Inst, A-8010 Graz, Austria..
Austrian Acad Sci, Space Res Inst, A-8010 Graz, Austria..
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2016 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 43, no 10, 4841-4849 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

We report on field-aligned current observations by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft near the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) during two major substorms on 23 June 2015. Small-scale field-aligned currents were found embedded in fluctuating PSBL flux tubes near the separatrix region. We resolve, for the first time, short-lived earthward (downward) intense field-aligned current sheets with thicknesses of a few tens of kilometers, which are well below the ion scale, on flux tubes moving equatorward/earthward during outward plasma sheet expansion. They coincide with upward field-aligned electron beams with energies of a few hundred eV. These electrons are most likely due to acceleration associated with a reconnection jet or high-energy ion beam-produced disturbances. The observations highlight coupling of multiscale processes in PSBL as a consequence of magnetotail reconnection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 43, no 10, 4841-4849 p.
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-299744DOI: 10.1002/2016GL068768ISI: 000378347500022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-299744DiVA: diva2:949955
Available from: 2016-07-26 Created: 2016-07-26 Last updated: 2017-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Khotyaintsev, Yuri
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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