Transient, small-scale field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer during storm time substorms
2016 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 43, no 10, 4841-4849 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
We report on field-aligned current observations by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft near the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) during two major substorms on 23 June 2015. Small-scale field-aligned currents were found embedded in fluctuating PSBL flux tubes near the separatrix region. We resolve, for the first time, short-lived earthward (downward) intense field-aligned current sheets with thicknesses of a few tens of kilometers, which are well below the ion scale, on flux tubes moving equatorward/earthward during outward plasma sheet expansion. They coincide with upward field-aligned electron beams with energies of a few hundred eV. These electrons are most likely due to acceleration associated with a reconnection jet or high-energy ion beam-produced disturbances. The observations highlight coupling of multiscale processes in PSBL as a consequence of magnetotail reconnection.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 43, no 10, 4841-4849 p.
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-189819DOI: 10.1002/2016GL068768ISI: 000378347500022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-189819DiVA: diva2:949432
QC 201607192016-07-192016-07-152016-07-19Bibliographically approved