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Ion flows and heating at a contracting polar-cap boundary: GISMOS observations indicating viscous-like interaction on the flanks of the magnetotail

Lockwood, M., Cowley, S.W.H., Clauer, C.R., Todd, H., Crothers, S.R. and Willis, D.M. (1989) Ion flows and heating at a contracting polar-cap boundary: GISMOS observations indicating viscous-like interaction on the flanks of the magnetotail. Advances in Space Research, 9 (5). pp. 39-44. ISSN 02731177

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/0273-1177(89)90337-2

Abstract/Summary

This paper complements that in this issue by Clauer et al. concerning the international GISMOS campaign of 3–5 June 1987. From a detailed study of the EISCAT data, the polar-cap boundary, as defined by an almost shear east-west convection reversal, is found to contract across the EISCAT field of view between 04 and 07 MLT. An annulus of enhanced ion temperature and non-thermal plasma is observed immediately equatorward of the contracting boundary due to the lag in the response of the neutral-wind pattern to the change in ion flows. The ion flow inside the polar cap and at the boundary is shown to be relatively smooth, compared with that in the auroral oval, at 15-second resolution. The flow at the boundary is directed poleward, with velocities which exceed that of the boundary itself. The effect of velocity shears on the beamswinging technique used to derive the ion flows has been analysed in detail and it is found that spurious flows across a moving boundary can be generated. However, these are much smaller than the observed flows into the polar cap and cannot explain the 7 kV potential difference across the observed segment of the cap boundary between 04:30–06:30 UT. The ion temperature enhancements at the two observing azimuths is used to define the boundary orientation. The results are consistent with recent observations of slow anti-sunward flow of closed field lines on the flanks of the geomagnetic tail, which appears to be generated by some form of “viscous” coupling to the magnetosheath plasma.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:38875

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