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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/41497
- Quarter-wave modes of standing Alfvén waves detected by cross-phase analysis
Menk, Frederick W.;
Sciffer, Murray D.;
Waters, Colin L.
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Science & Information Technology, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
- We have examined the diurnal variation of the local field line eigenfrequency at L ~ 2.6 using cross-phase analysis of Sub-Auroral Magnetometer Network and Magnetometers Along the Eastern Atlantic Seaboard for Undergraduate Research and Education ground magnetometer array data. On several days the eigenfrequency was remarkably low near the dawn terminator, when one end of the field line was sunlit and the other end was in darkness. Later in the morning the eigenfrequency gradually increased to the normal daytime value. This type of diurnal eigenfrequency variation was found in both European and American meridians and in several seasons (March, June, and December). By modeling this situation we show that the extraordinarily low eigenfrequency events appeared when the ionospheric Pedersen conductance was strongly asymmetric between both ends of the field line, leading to the formation of quarter-wavelength-mode standing waves that revert to half-wavelength modes as the dawn terminator passes both conjugate points. Ground-based magnetometer measurements of local toroidal field line eigenfrequencies are often inverted to infer plasma mass density in the magnetosphere by assuming half-wavelength-mode standing field line oscillations. However, the mode structure and hence field line eigenfrequency also depend on the ionospheric conductance. In particular, we find that there is a threshold of interhemispheric conductance ratio for the quarter-wavelength mode to be established. Our results therefore show that cross-phase techniques can detect quarter-wavelength-mode waves, where the inferred mass density would be overestimated.
- Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics Vol. 113, Issue A8
- Publisher Link
- American Geophysical Union
field line resonance;
MHD waves and instabilities
- Resource Type
- journal article
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