Electron density and parallel electric field distribution of the auroral density cavity
2015 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 120, no 11, 9428-9441 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We present an event study in which Cluster satellites C1 and C3 encounters the flux tube of a stable auroral arc in the pre-midnight sector. C1 observes the mid cavity, while C3 enters the flux tube of the auroral arc at an altitude which is below the acceleration region, before crossing into the top half of the acceleration region. This allows us to study the boundary between the ionosphere and the density cavity, as well as large portion of the upper density cavity. The position of the two satellites, in relation to the acceleration region, is described using a pseudo altitude derived from the distribution of the parallel potential drop above and below the satellites.The electron density exhibits an anti-correlation with the pseudo altitude, indicating that the lowest electron densities are found near the top of the density cavity. Over the entire pseudo altitude range, the electron density distribution is similar to a planar sheath, formed out of a plasma sheet dominated electron distribution, in response to the parallel electric field of the acceleration region. This indicates that the parallel electric fields on the ionosphere-cavity boundary, as well as the mid cavity parallel electric fields, are part of one unified structure rather than two discrete entities.The results highlight the strong connection between the auroral density cavity and auroral acceleration as well as the necessity of studying them in a unified fashion.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2015. Vol. 120, no 11, 9428-9441 p.
Auroral density cavity
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-176281DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021593ISI: 000368252100014ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84954399402OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-176281DiVA: diva2:866362
QC 201602162015-11-022015-11-022016-02-16Bibliographically approved