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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 26, issue 3
Ann. Geophys., 26, 709–724, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-26-709-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 26, 709–724, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-26-709-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  26 Mar 2008

26 Mar 2008

Structure of the near-Earth plasma sheet during tailward flows

A. Runov1,*, I. Voronkov2, Y. Asano3, W. Baumjohann1, M. Fujimoto4, R. Nakamura1, T. Takada1, M. Volwerk1,5, Z. Vörös1,6, M. Meurant2, A. Fazakerley7, H. Rème8, and A. Balogh9 A. Runov et al.
  • 1Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, 8042 Graz, Austria
  • 2University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  • 3Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
  • 4Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences, JAXA, Kanagawa, Japan
  • 5Max Plank Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany
  • 6Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 7Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL, London, UK
  • 8Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements, Toulouse, France
  • 9Imperial College, London, UK
  • *now at: Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Abstract. A detailed analysis of successive tailward flow bursts in the near-Earth magnetotail (X~−19 RE) plasma sheet is performed on the basis of in-situ multi-point observations by the Cluster spacecraft on 15 September 2001. The tailward flows were detected during a northward IMF interval, 2.5 h after a substorm expansion. Each flow burst (Vx<300 km/s) was associated with local auroral activation. Enhancements of the parallel and anti-parallel ~1 keV electron flux were detected during the flows. The spacecraft configuration enables to monitor the neutral sheet (Bx≈0) and the level of Bx≈10–15 nT simultaneously, giving a possibility to distinguish between closed plasmoid-like structures and open NFTE-like surges. The data analysis shows NFTE-like structures and localized current filaments embedded into the tailward plasma flow. 3-D shapes of the structures were reconstructed using the four-point magnetic filed measurements and the particle data.

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