Dipolarization fronts in the near-Earth space and substorm dynamics
- 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece
- 2Institute of Space Physics and Applied Technology, Peking University, Beijing, China
- 3Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014, Finland
- 4School of Space Science and Physics, Shandong University, Weihai, China
Abstract. During magnetospheric substorms and plasma transport in the Earth's magnetotail various magnetic structures can be detected. Dipolarization fronts and flux ropes are the most prominent structures characteristic for substorm dynamics. However, they are treated as separate magnetotail features independent of each other. In this paper, we analyze a number of dipolarization fronts observed by the THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) spacecraft at different geocentric distances by applying the magnetohydrostatic Grad–Shafranov (GS) reconstruction technique. Our analysis shows that there is a possibility of dipolarization fronts to originate from highly dissipated flux ropes which are in the late stage of their evolution, subjected to a continuous magnetic deterioration due to the reconnection process. These results may improve our understanding of magnetoplasma processes in Earth's magnetotail.