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Cluster observation of a bifurcated current sheet

Cluster observation of a bifurcated current sheet

Publication date: 17 January 2003

Authors: Runov, A. et al.

Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 30
Issue: 2
Page: 8-1
Year: 2003

Copyright: American Geophysical Union

The current sheet structure and motion at XGSM = -19.5 RE, observed by Cluster/FGM during 1055-1107 UT on 29 August 2001, is examined. It is found that during the interval 1055-1102 UT the current sheet moves vertically up and down with a velocity of about 60 km s-1. During this interval the current sheet has a bifurcated structure: electric current is concentrated in two sheets with an extended layer of weak nearly uniform magnetic field in between. In the interval 1103-1107 UT the current sheet moves slowly upward and the current sheet has a Harris-type structure. By using four-spacecraft timing analysis, it is shown that the fast motion and bifurcation of the current sheet are associated with a wave-like transient propagating in the dawn-to-dusk direction.

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