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The boundary layers as the primary transport regions of the earth's magnetotailA comprehensive survey of ISEE and IMP LEPEDEA plasma measurements in the earth's magnetotail reveals that the magnetospheric boundary layer and the plasma sheet boundary layer are the primary transport regions there. These plasma measurements also reveal various components of the plasma sheet, including the central plasma sheet and plasma sheet boundary layer. A significant new result reported here is that of cold- and hot-plasma components that are spatially co-present within the central plasma sheet. Such plasma components cannot be explained merely by temporal variations in spectra involving the entire plasma sheet. Contributions to a low temperature component of the plasma sheet enter directly from the boundary layer located along the magnetotail flanks. Field-aligned flows predominate within the plasma sheet boundary layer which is almost always present and is located near the high- and low-latitude border of the plasma sheet. The plasma sheet boundary layer comprises highly anisotropic ion distributions, including counter-streaming ion beams, that evolve into the hot, isotropic component of the plasma sheet. Tailward acceleration regions generate these ion beams with plasma input from the magnetospheric boundary layer. Antisunward-flowing ion beams, at E/q less than 1 kV and of ionospheric composition, are frequently observed in the plasma sheet boundary layer and in tail lobes. These ion beams are likely accelerated at low altitude over the polar cap and especially along auroral field lines.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Eastman, T. E. (Iowa Univ. Iowa City, IA, United States)
Frank, L. A. (Iowa Univ. Iowa City, IA, United States)
Huang, C. Y. (Iowa, University Iowa City, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 90
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: N00014-76-C-0016
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