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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-124
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-124
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 06 Dec 2018

Regular paper | 06 Dec 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

The current sheet flapping motions induced by non-adiabatic ions: case study

Xinhua Wei1, Chunlin Cai1, Henri Rème2, Iannis Dandouras2, and George Parks3 Xinhua Wei et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, CAS, Beijing, China
  • 2IRAP, UPS -OMP, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 3Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

Abstract. In this paper, we analyzed the y-component of magnetic field line curvature in the plasma sheet and found that there are two kinds of shear structures of the flapping current sheet, i.e. symmetric and antisymmetric. The alternating bending orientations of guiding field are exactly corresponding to alternating north-south asymmetries of the bouncing ion population in the sheet center. Those alternating asymmetric plasma sources consequently induce the current sheet flapping motion as a driver. In addition, a substantial particle population with dawnward motion was observed in the center of a bifurcated current sheet. This population is identified as the quasi-adiabatic particles, and provides a net current opposite to the conventional cross-tail current.

Xinhua Wei et al.
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Short summary
Observations of flapping current sheet in the magnetotail are presented to reveal their intrinsic excitation mechanism induced by alternating north-south asymmetric ion populations in the sheet center. The results suggest that nonadiabatic ions play a substantial role to determine current sheet dynamics, both its bulk mechanical instability and current profiles.
Observations of flapping current sheet in the magnetotail are presented to reveal their...
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