Articles | Volume 20, issue 4
Ann. Geophys., 20, 405–426, 2002
Ann. Geophys., 20, 405–426, 2002

  30 Apr 2002

30 Apr 2002

Coordinated ground-based and Cluster observations of large amplitude global magnetospheric oscillations during a fast solar wind speed interval

I. R. Mann1, I. Voronkov2, M. Dunlop3, E. Donovan4, T. K. Yeoman5, D. K. Milling1, J. Wild5, K. Kauristie6, O. Amm6, S. D. Bale7, A. Balogh3, A. Viljanen6, and H. J. Opgenoorth8 I. R. Mann et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of York, York, UK
  • 2Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 3Imperial College, London, UK
  • 4Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 5Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 6Finnish Meteorological Institute, Geophysical Research Division, P.O. Box 503, FIN-00101, Helsinki, Finland
  • 7Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 8Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division, Sweden
  • Correspondence to: I. R. Mann (

Abstract. We present magnetospheric observations of very large amplitude global scale ULF waves, from 9 and 10 December 2000 when the upstream solar wind speed exceeded 600 km/s. We characterise these ULF waves using ground-based magnetometer, radar and optical instrumentation on both the dawn and dusk flanks; we find evidence to support the hypothesis that discrete frequency field line resonances (FLRs) were being driven by magnetospheric waveguide modes. During the early part of this interval, Cluster was on an outbound pass from the northern dusk side magnetospheric lobe into the magnetosheath, local-time conjugate to the Canadian sector. In situ magnetic fluctuations, observed by Cluster FGM, show evidence of quasi-periodic motion of the magnetosheath boundary layer with the same period as the ULF waves seen on the ground. Our observations represent the first simultaneous magnetometer, radar and optical observations of the characteristics of FLRs, and confirm the potential importance of ULF waves for magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, particularly via the generation and modulation of electron precipitation into the ionosphere. The in situ Cluster measurements support the hypothesis that, during intervals of fast solar wind speed, the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI) can excite magnetospheric waveguide modes which bathe the flank magnetosphere with discrete frequency ULF wave power and drive large amplitude FLRs. 

Paper submitted to the special issue devoted to "Cluster: First scientific results", Ann. Geophysicae, 19, 10/11/12, 2001.

Key words. Magnetospheric physics (magnetopause, cusp and boundary layers; MHD waves and instabilities; solar wind-magnetosphere interactions)