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Simulation of Soliton at Magnetopause Boundary

Simulation of Soliton at Magnetopause Boundary


Date: 04 March 2008
Satellite: Cluster
Depicts: Numerical simulation results
Copyright: Dr. Raoul Trines, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK

This movie shows a simulation of the electric field of an electrostatic zonal flow (red curve) at the Earth's magnetopause boundary (black curve: plasma density profile).

Upstream of the boundary, a stationary electrostatic wave, called a zonal flow, is excited by drift wave turbulence. Downstream, the drift waves are not in resonance with the zonal flow, so the zonal flow does not grow there. At the boundary itself, the action of the drift wave turbulence rips the zonal flow apart, causing individual zonal flow periods to move independently. This explains the origin of the solitary zonal flow structures observed by Cluster in regions of strong drift wave turbulence at the Earth's magnetopause boundary.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
13-Aug-2020 03:43 UT

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