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Global Magnetospheric Plasma Convection
KTH, Superseded Departments, Alfvén Laboratory.
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with the global aspects of plasmaconvection in the magnetosphere as measured by the low-altitudepolar orbiting Astrid-2 and FAST satellites. The major focus ison the electric field measurements, but they are alsocomplemented by magnetic field, ion and electron particle data,which is fundamental for the understanding of theelectrodynamics of the high-latitude auroral ovals and polarcap, which are the regions analysed here. The essential subjectof this thesis is the so-called magnetic reconnection processthat drives plasma convection in the Earth's magnetosphere. Itis shown that the ionospheric convection, being intimatelycoupled to the magnetospheric convection, responds in about15-25 min depending on geomagnetic activity after the arrivalof the solar wind at the magnetopause. It also responds on alonger time scale, around 55-75 min, which is interpreted asthe unloading of solar wind energy previously stored in thelarge-scale current system of the magnetotail. These resultshave been found previously using ionospheric parameters such asthe auroral electrojet AL index. What is new is that these sameresults are reproduced by using a discrete set of cross-polarpotential measurements. Using an extensive set of electric andmagnetic field data combined with particle precipitation datafrom the FAST satellite, it is shown that the reconnectionprocess can also be applied to explain features of sunwardplasma convection in the polar cap with a likely antiparallelmerging site in the lobe magnetopause region. The lobereconnection is found to depend strongly on IMF Byand to coexist with dayside subsolar merging.Finally, a comparison is performed between the Weimer electricfield model and Astrid-2 electric field data. Empiricalelectric field models are important in understanding thecomplete convection pattern at any one time, something, whichcannot be provided by measurements from single satellites.

Keywords:Satellite measurements, electric fields,magnetosphere, magneticreconnection, plasma convection, lobecell convection, empirical electric field models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Alfvénlaboratoriet , 2001. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
Geophysics, satellite measurements, electric fields, magnetosphere, magnetic reconnection
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3230ISBN: 91-7283-173-1OAI: diva2:9010
Public defence
NR 20140805Available from: 2001-10-05 Created: 2001-10-05Bibliographically approved

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