Articles | Volume 26, issue 9
15 Sep 2008
 | 15 Sep 2008

Comparison of multi-point measurements of current sheet structure and analytical models

A. V. Artemyev, A. A. Petrukovich, L. M. Zelenyi, H. V. Malova, V. Y. Popov, R. Nakamura, A. Runov, and S. Apatenkov

Abstract. Current density profiles of 22 thin current sheets, crossed by four Cluster spacecraft in the magnetotail are compared with the self-consistent model of anisotropic 1-D equilibrium, including several species of quasi-adiabatic (transient) ions and drifting electrons. In order to examine ion-scale features of the current density profile Cluster data from the 2001 and 2004 tail seasons were used when the spacecraft separation was about 2000 and 1000 km, respectively, while electron-scale features are studied using Cluster data from the 2003 season , when the spacecraft separation was about 200 km. The model ion and electron current density peaks embedded in a background plasma sheet successfully reproduce observed profiles. Stability criteria of the model current sheet are also consistent with the experiment.