Solitary structures associated with short large-amplitude magnetic structures (SLAMS) upstream of the Earth's quasi-parallel bow shock

R. Behlke, M. André, S. D. Bale, J. S. Pickett, C. A. Cattell, E. A. Lucek, A. Balogh

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26 Scopus citations

Abstract

For the first time, solitary waves (SWs) have been observed within short large-amplitude magnetic structures (SLAMS) upstream of the Earth's quasi-parallel bow shock. The SWs often occur as bipolar pulses in the electric field data and move parallel to the background magnetic field at velocities of v = 400-1200 km/s. They have peak-to-peak amplitudes in the parallel electric field of up to E′ = 65 mV/m and parallel scale sizes of L ∼ 10 λ D. The bipolar solitary waves exhibit negative potential structures of Φ = 0.4-2.2 V, i.e., eΦ /kTe ∼ 0.1. None of the theories commonly used to describe SWs adequately address these negative potential structures moving at velocities above the ion thermal speed in a weakly magnetized plasma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L16805 1-4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume31
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2004

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