Articles | Volume 21, issue 9
Ann. Geophys., 21, 1955–1964, 2003

Special issue: Complexity in the Earth's Magnetospheric Dynamics

Ann. Geophys., 21, 1955–1964, 2003

  30 Sep 2003

30 Sep 2003

Multi-scale magnetic field intermittence in the plasma sheet

Z. Vörös1, W. Baumjohann1, R. Nakamura1, A. Runov1, T. L. Zhang1, M. Volwerk1, H. U. Eichelberger1, A. Balogh2, T. S. Horbury2, K.-H. Glaßmeier3, B. Klecker4, and H. Rème5 Z. Vörös et al.
  • 1Institut für Weltraumforschung der ÖAW, Graz, Austria
  • 2Imperial College, London, UK
  • 3TU Braunschweig, Germany
  • 4Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany
  • 5CESR/CNRS, Toulouse, France

Abstract. This paper demonstrates that intermittent magnetic field fluctuations in the plasma sheet exhibit transitory, localized, and multi-scale features. We propose a multifractal-based algorithm, which quantifies intermittence on the basis of the statistical distribution of the "strength of burstiness", estimated within a sliding window. Interesting multi-scale phenomena observed by the Cluster spacecraft include large-scale motion of the current sheet and bursty bulk flow associated turbulence, interpreted as a cross-scale coupling (CSC) process.

Key words. Magnetospheric physics (magnetotail; plasma sheet) – Space plasma physics (turbulence)