Electrostatic solitary waves and electrostatic waves at the magnetopause
2016 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 121, no 4, 3069-3092 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) are characterized by localized bipolar electric fields parallel to the magnetic field and are frequently observed in space plasmas. In this paper a study of ESWs and field-aligned electrostatic waves, which do not exhibit localized bipolar fields, near the magnetopause is presented using the Cluster spacecraft. The speeds, length scales, field strengths, and potentials are calculated and compared with the local plasma conditions. A large range of speeds is observed, suggesting different generation mechanisms. In contrast, a smaller range of length scales normalized to the Debye length lambda(D) is found. For ESWs the average length between the positive and negative peak fields is 9 lambda(D), comparable to the average half wavelength of electrostatic waves. Statistically, the lengths and speeds of ESWs and electrostatic waves are shown to be similar. The length scales and potentials of the ESWs are consistent with predictions for stable electron holes. The maximum ESW potentials are shown to be constrained by the length scale and the magnetic field strength at the magnetopause and in the magnetosheath. The observed waves are consistent with those generated by the warm bistreaming instability, beam-plasma instability, and electron-ion instabilities, which account for the observed speeds and length scales. The large range of wave speeds suggests that the waves can couple different electron populations and electrons with ions, heating the plasma and contributing to anomalous resistivity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 121, no 4, 3069-3092 p.
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300977DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021527ISI: 000379960300018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-300977DiVA: diva2:953820
FunderSwedish National Space Board, 128/11:2 77/13