Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Experimental investigations of plasma waves at the magnetopause, including recent results from the AMPTE/IRM satellite, show that both δE and δB fluctuations typically have a featureless spectrum which monotonically decreases with frequency; integrated rms amplitudes are typically a few mV m-1 for δE and 10 nT for δB, though in particular δE can be as much as an order of magnitude larger in exceptional cases. Surveys show a lack of correlation between wave parameters and the magnetopause parameters. Under the assumption that crossing the diffusion region would give a pronounced signature in the waves, the survey data allow an upper limit to be placed on the latitudinal extent of the diffusion region, which is about 1000 km — implying that it is not surprising that the wave data surveys have so far failed to detect it. The observed wave turbulence levels have been used to estimate diffusion coefficients under different assumptions for the wave mode, but the resulting diffusion coefficient is always too small to explain either reconnection or boundary layer formation. Recent work of Galeev et al. (1986) indicates that the dominant diffusion process may be ‘magnetic field migration’, which is a macroscopic process involving the interaction of tearing mode islands. Assuming this mode to be present at the observed level of δB, a particle diffusion coefficient of nearly 109 m2 s-1 is obtained. Another macroscopic diffusive process which could occur at the magnetopause is stochastic E × B scattering, which also implies a diffusion coefficient the order of 109 m2 s-1 if the observed δE spectrum is assumed to be a turbulent cascade consisting of convective cells.
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