Articles | Volume 29, issue 4
19 Apr 2011
 | 19 Apr 2011

Dayside magnetopause transients correlated with changes of the magnetosheath magnetic field orientation

O. Tkachenko, J. Šafránková, Z. Němeček, and D. G. Sibeck

Abstract. The paper analyses one long-term pass (26 August 2007) of the THEMIS spacecraft across the dayside low-latitude magnetopause. THEMIS B, serving partly as a magnetosheath monitor, observed several changes of the magnetic field that were accompanied by dynamic changes of the magnetopause location and/or the structure of magnetopause layers observed by THEMIS C, D, and E, whereas THEMIS A scanned the inner magnetosphere. We discuss the plasma and the magnetic field data with motivation to identify sources of observed quasiperiodic plasma transients. Such events at the magnetopause are usually attributed to pressure pulses coming from the solar wind, foreshock fluctuations, flux transfer events or surface waves. The presented transient events differ in nature (the magnetopause surface deformation, the low-latitude boundary layer thickening, the crossing of the reconnection site), but we found that all of them are associated with changes of the magnetosheath magnetic field orientation and with enhancements or depressions of the plasma density. Since these features are not observed in the data of upstream monitors, the study emphasizes the role of magnetosheath fluctuations in the solar wind-magnetosphere coupling.