Articles | Volume 36, issue 2
Regular paper
05 Apr 2018
Regular paper |  | 05 Apr 2018

Quantifying the relationship between the plasmapause and the inner boundary of small-scale field-aligned currents, as deduced from Swarm observations

Balázs Heilig and Hermann Lühr


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Short summary
This paper presents a statistical study of the equatorward boundary of small-scale field-aligned currents (SSFACs) as observed by ESA's Swarm satellites and investigates the relation between this boundary and NASA’s Van Allen probe observed plasmapause (PP). It is found that the two boundaries are closely coincident in the midnight LT sector, where the new PP is formed. Our results point to the role of SSFACs in the creation of the PP and offer a unique tool to monitor PP dynamics.