The dynamics occurring at the terrestrial magnetopause are investigated by using Geotail and THEMIS spacecraft data of magnetopause crossings during ongoing Kelvin–Helmholtz instability. Properties of plasma turbulence and intermittency are presented, with the aim of understanding the evolution of the turbulence as a result of the development of Kelvin–Helmholtz instability. The data have been tested against standard diagnostics for intermittent turbulence, such as the autocorrelation function, the spectral analysis and the scale-dependent statistics of the magnetic field increments. A quasi-periodic modulation of different scaling exponents may exist along the direction of propagation of the Kelvin–Helmholtz waves along the Geocentric Solar Magnetosphere coordinate system (GSM), and it is visible as a quasi-periodic modulation of the scaling exponents we have studied. The wave period associated with such oscillation was estimated to be approximately 6.4 Earth Radii (R E ). Furthermore, the amplitude of such modulation seems to decrease as the measurements are taken further away from the Earth along the magnetopause, in particular after X ( GSM ) < 15 R E . The observed modulation seems to persist for most of the parameters considered in this analysis. This suggests that a kind of signature related to the development of the Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities could be present in the statistical properties of the magnetic turbulence.

Evolution of Turbulence in the Kelvin–Helmholtz Instability in the Terrestrial Magnetopause

Sorriso-Valvo, Luca;Retinò, Alessandro;Malara, Francesco;
2019

Abstract

The dynamics occurring at the terrestrial magnetopause are investigated by using Geotail and THEMIS spacecraft data of magnetopause crossings during ongoing Kelvin–Helmholtz instability. Properties of plasma turbulence and intermittency are presented, with the aim of understanding the evolution of the turbulence as a result of the development of Kelvin–Helmholtz instability. The data have been tested against standard diagnostics for intermittent turbulence, such as the autocorrelation function, the spectral analysis and the scale-dependent statistics of the magnetic field increments. A quasi-periodic modulation of different scaling exponents may exist along the direction of propagation of the Kelvin–Helmholtz waves along the Geocentric Solar Magnetosphere coordinate system (GSM), and it is visible as a quasi-periodic modulation of the scaling exponents we have studied. The wave period associated with such oscillation was estimated to be approximately 6.4 Earth Radii (R E ). Furthermore, the amplitude of such modulation seems to decrease as the measurements are taken further away from the Earth along the magnetopause, in particular after X ( GSM ) < 15 R E . The observed modulation seems to persist for most of the parameters considered in this analysis. This suggests that a kind of signature related to the development of the Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities could be present in the statistical properties of the magnetic turbulence.
magnetosheath, Kelvin–Helmholtz instability, turbulence, intermittency
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/296795
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