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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 24, issue 3
Ann. Geophys., 24, 1001–1013, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-1001-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 24, 1001–1013, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-1001-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  19 May 2006

19 May 2006

Alfvén waves in the near-PSBL lobe: Cluster observations

T. Takada1, R. Nakamura1, W. Baumjohann1, K. Seki2, Z. Vörös1, Y. Asano1, M. Volwerk1,3, A. Runov1, T. L. Zhang1, A. Balogh4, G. Paschmann3, R. B. Torbert5, B. Klecker3, H. Rème6, P. Puhl-Quinn5, P. Canu7, and P. M. E. Décréau8 T. Takada et al.
  • 1Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, A-8042 Graz, Austria
  • 2Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
  • 3Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, D-85741 Garching, Germany
  • 4Imperial College, London SW7 2BZ, UK
  • 5University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
  • 6CESR/CNRS, F-31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
  • 7CETP/CNRS and VSQP University, F-78140 Vélizy, France
  • 8LPCE/CNRS and Université d’Orléans, F-45071 Orléans Cedex 2, France

Abstract. Electromagnetic low-frequency waves in the magnetotail lobe close to the PSBL (Plasma Sheet Boundary Layer) are studied using the Cluster spacecraft. The lobe waves show Alfvénic properties and transport their wave energy (Poynting flux) on average toward the Earth along magnetic field lines. Most of the wave events are rich with oxygen (O+) ion plasma. The rich O+ plasma can serve to enhance the magnetic field fluctuations, resulting in a greater likelihood of observation, but it does not appear to be necessary for the generation of the waves. Taking into account the fact that all events are associated with auroral electrojet enhancements, the source of the lobe waves might be a substorm-associated instability, i.e. some instability near the reconnection site, or an ion beam-related instability in the PSBL.

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