Interball-tail observations of vertical plasma motions in the magnetotail
Abstract. The Interball spacecraft configuration favors, in contrast to previous experiments, investigation of vertical ion flows (GSM Vz ). We use measurements of the CORALL instrument for the statistical study of Vz and Vy plasma flows in the mid-tail plasma sheet. In agreement with the previous observations, the mean Vy was positive on the dusk side and negative on the dawn side. When IMF was southward, the mean Vz consisted of the convection flow towards the equatorial plane ~ 7 km/s and the northward flow ~ 8 km/s. When IMF was northward, both components nearly vanished. The velocity variance was much larger than the mean values. The Vz variance maximized on the dawn flank and was always 15–20% smaller than the Vy one. The Vy variance maximized in the pre-midnight sector closer to the neutral sheet. We conclude that velocity fluctuations are composed with the inherent high-beta plasma turbulence contributing to all components, and the BBF-related activity contributing mainly to Vy in the pre-midnight plasma sheet.
Key words. Magnetospheric physics (magnetotail; plasma sheet; plasma convection)