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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-103
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-103
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: regular paper 19 Jul 2019

Submitted as: regular paper | 19 Jul 2019

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

Plasma transport into the duskside magnetopause caused by Kelvin–Helmholtz vortices in response to the northward turning of the interplanetary magnetic field observed by THEMIS

Guang Qing Yan1, George K. Parks2, Chun Lin Cai1, Tao Chen1, James P. McFadden2, and Yong Ren1,3 Guang Qing Yan et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 100190
  • 2Space Science Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA, CA94720
  • 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 100049

Abstract. A train of Kelvin–Helmholtz (K–H) vortices with plasma transport across the magnetopause has been observed by the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) abruptly turns northward. This unique event occurred without pre-existing denser boundary layer to facilitate the instability. Two THEMIS spacecraft, TH-A and TH-E, separated by 3 Re, periodically encountered the duskside magnetopause and the low-latitude boundary layer (LLBL) with a period of 2 minutes and tailward propagation of 194 km/s. There was no high-velocity low-density feature, but the rotations in the bulk velocity observation, distorted magnetopause with plasma parameter fluctuations and the magnetic field line stretching, indicate the formation of rolled-up K–H vortices at the duskside magnetopause. A mixture of magnetosheath ions with magnetospheric ions and enhanced energy flux of hot electrons is identified in the K–H vortices. This mixture region appears more periodic at the upstream spacecraft and more dispersive at the downstream location, indicating a significant transport can occur and evolve during the tailward propagation of the K–H waves. There is still much work to fully understand the Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism. The observations of direct response to the northward turning of the IMF, the unambiguous plasma transport within the vortices, involving both ion and electron fluxes can provide additional clues to the K–H mechanism.

Guang Qing Yan et al.
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Short summary
We are presenting: (1) K–H vortices in direct response to the northward turning of IMF without pre-existing denser boundary layer to facilitate the instability; (2) substantial solar wind transport into magnetosphere caused by the K–H vortices, involving both ion and electron fluxes; (3)typical portaits of the ion and electron fluxes in the region of plasma tranport. The unique characteristics may reshape our understanding of the K–H vortices and tranport process.
We are presenting: (1) K–H vortices in direct response to the northward turning of IMF without...
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