Modelling signatures of pulsed magnetopause reconnection in cusp ion dispersion signatures seen at middle altitudes
Lockwood, M., Davis, C. J., Onsager, T. G. and Scudder, J. D. (1998) Modelling signatures of pulsed magnetopause reconnection in cusp ion dispersion signatures seen at middle altitudes. Geophysical Research Letters, 25 (5). pp. 591-594. ISSN 0094-8276
To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/98GL00185
It is shown that the open magnetosphere model can reproduce both the down-going and the up-going magnetosheath ions seen in the cusp and mantle regions by the Polar satellite at middle altitudes. ?he pass studied shows a series of discontinuities in the ion dispersion, most of which are shown to arise from pulses of magnetopause reconnection rate. A total of 9 pulses are detected in an interval estimated to be about 30 min long, giving a mean repetition period of about 3 min: they vary in length between 0.5 min and 3.5 min and are separated by periods of much slower reconnection of duration 1-3 min. One step is not as predicted for reconnection rate pulses but is explained in terms of compressive motions caused by a pulse of solar wind dynamic pressure. The reconnection site is found to be 16 +/- 3 R-E from the ionosphere along the separatrix field line, placing it at low latitudes on the dayside magnetopause.