Articles | Volume 23, issue 10
30 Nov 2005
 | 30 Nov 2005

Statistical phase propagation and dispersion analysis of low frequency waves in the magnetosheath

S. Schäfer, K.-H. Glassmeier, Y. Narita, K. H. Fornaçon, I. Dandouras, and M. Fränz

Abstract. We present the results of a statistical analysis of low-frequency fluctuations in the high latitude regions of the dayside magnetosheath using CLUSTER as a wave telescope. Magnetic field observations are used to determine wave propagation directions and wave numbers for selected frequencies. Using observations of the plasma flow velocity we correct for the Doppler shift, in order to calculate frequencies and phase velocities in the plasma rest frame. This provides us with the possibility to perform a statistical dispersion analysis and to investigate various wave properties, such as the phase velocity and the propagation angle between k and B. The analysis of dispersion distributions and Friedrichs diagrams results in the identification of different wave populations. We find a multiplicity of standing structures (mirror modes) convected with the plasma flow and a large number of Alfvénic waves. The results confirm previous magnetosheath wave studies, such as ISSE or AMPTE spacecraft observations, but we also find a small number of mirror mode-like waves that have propagation speeds up to the local Alfvén velocity, quasi-perpendicular to the magnetic field.