Articles | Volume 17, issue 9
30 Sep 1999
30 Sep 1999

Compressional wave events in the dawn plasma sheet observed by Interball-1

O. Verkhoglyadova, A. Agapitov, A. Andrushchenko, V. Ivchenko, S. Romanov, and Yu. Yermolaev

Abstract. Compressional waves with periods greater than 2 min (about 10-30 min) at low geomagnetic latitudes, namely compressional Pc5 waves, are studied. The data set obtained with magnetometer MIF-M and plasma analyzer instrument CORALL on board the Interball-1 are analyzed. Measurements performed in October 1995 and October 1996 in the dawn plasma sheet at -30 RE ≤ XGSM and |ZGSM| ≤ 10 RE are considered. Anti-phase variations of magnetic field and ion plasma pressures are analyzed by searching for morphological similarities in the two time series. It is found that longitudinal and transverse magnetic field variations with respect to the background magnetic field are of the same order of magnitude. Plasma velocities are processed for each time period of the local dissimilarity in the pressure time series. Velocity disturbances occur mainly transversely to the local field line. The data reveal the rotation of the velocity vector. Because of the field line curvature, there is no fixed position of the rotational plane in the space. These vortices are localized in the regions of anti-phase variations of the magnetic field and plasma pressures, and the vortical flows are associated with the compressional Pc5 wave process. A theoretical model is proposed to explain the main features of the nonlinear wave processes. Our main goal is to study coupling of drift Alfven wave and magnetosonic wave in a warm inhomogeneous plasma. A vortex is the partial solution of the set of the equations when the compression is neglected. A compression effect gives rise to a nonlinear soliton-like solution.

Key words. Magnetosphere physics (magnetotail) · Space plasma physics (kinetic and MHD theory; non-linear phenomena)