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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 22, issue 3
Ann. Geophys., 22, 993–999, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-22-993-2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 22, 993–999, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-22-993-2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  19 Mar 2004

19 Mar 2004

Interchange instability of a curved current layerconvecting in the magnetosheath from the bow shock towards themagnetopause

I. L. Arshukova1, N. V. Erkaev1, and H. K. Biernat3,2 I. L. Arshukova et al.
  • 1Institute of Computational Modelling, Russian Academy of Sciences, Krasnoyarsk-36, 660036, Russia
  • 2Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstrasse 6, 8042 Graz, Austria
  • 3also at: Institute of Geophysics, Astrophysics, and Meteorology, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria

Abstract. This paper deals with nonsteady perturbations of the magnetosheath parameters which are related to variations of the interplanetary magnetic field from north to south under a constant solar wind dynamic pressure. The magnetic field changes its direction within a thin layer which is convected with the plasma from the bow shock to the ionopause. In the course of time, this current layer is amplified during its motion towards the magnetopause. The intensity of the current is increasing, the layer thickness is decreasing, and the gradients of parameters are becoming much sharper while the layer is approaching the magnetopause. The curvature radius of this layer is decreasing while it is draping around the magnetopause. This curved layer structure with reversed magnetic field in the magnetosheath is found to be unstable with respect to the interchange instability. The growth rate of the instability is obtained for different positions of the layer.

Key words. Magnetospheric physics (magnetosheath)

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