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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 24, issue 10
Ann. Geophys., 24, 2619–2643, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-2619-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 24, 2619–2643, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-2619-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  20 Oct 2006

20 Oct 2006

Cluster observations of reconnection due to the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability at the dawnside magnetospheric flank

K. Nykyri1, A. Otto2, B. Lavraud3, C. Mouikis4, L. M. Kistler4, A. Balogh1, and H. Rème5 K. Nykyri et al.
  • 1The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, London, UK
  • 2Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA
  • 3Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA
  • 4University of New Hampshire, USA
  • 5Centre d'Etude Spatiale Rayonnements, Toulouse, France

Abstract. On 3 July 2001, the four Cluster satellites traversed along the dawnside magnetospheric flank and observed large variations in all plasma parameters. The estimated magnetopause boundary normals were oscillating in the z-direction and the normal component of the magnetic field showed systematic  2–3 min bipolar variations for 1 h when the IMF had a small positive bz-component and a Parker-spiral orientation in the x,y-plane. Brief  33 s intervals with excellent deHoffman Teller frames were observed satisfying the Walén relation. Detailed comparisons with 2-D MHD simulations indicate that Cluster encountered rotational discontinuities generated by Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. We estimate a wave length of  6 RE and a wave vector with a significant z-component.

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