Properties of a bifurcated current sheet observed on 29 August 2001
- 1Institut für Weltraumforschung der ÖAW, Graz, Austria
- 2St. Petersburg University, Russia
- 3MPE Garching, Germany
- 5CESR, Toulouse, France
- 6Imperial College, London, UK
Abstract. Ion density, velocity and temperature, measured by Cluster spacecraft in the plasma sheet during an isolated substorm at 10:20-11:15 UT, 29 August 2001 are discussed. The Custer/CODIF data for subinterval 10:55-11:03 UT, during which a bifurcation of the current sheet was detected, are studied in particular. It is shown that ion density and temperature have a plateau-like profile in the central part of the bifurcated current sheet. An enhanced proton flow directed in positive YGSM was detected during the selected subinterval. Other components of proton bulk velocity are found to be negligibly small, i.e. the structure is likely not directly associated with magnetic reconnection. Alternative models, including ion anisotropy and localized magnetic turbulence, which result in a two-peak profile of the current density, are discussed briefly.