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Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

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In the Earth's magnetosphere, the magnetotail plasma sheet ions are much hotter than in the shocked solar wind. On the dawn sector, the cold-component ions are more abundant and hotter by 30–40% when compared to the dusk sector. Recent statistical studies of the flank magnetopause and magnetosheath have shown that the level of temperature asymmetry of the magnetosheath is unable to account for this, so additional physical mechanisms must be at play, either at the magnetopause or plasma sheet that contributes to this asymmetry. In this study, we perform a statistical analysis on the ion-scale wave properties in the three main plasma regimes common to flank magnetopause boundary crossings when the boundary is unstable to Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI): hot and tenuous magnetospheric, cold and dense magnetosheath, and mixed (Hasegawa et al., 2004). These statistics of ion-scale wave properties are compared to observations of fast magnetosonic wave modes that have recently been linked to Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) vortex centered ion heating (Moore et al., 2016). The statistical analysis shows that during KH events there is enhanced nonadiabatic heating calculated during ion scale wave intervals when compared to non-KH events. This suggests that during KH events there is more free energy for ion-scale wave generation, which in turn can heat ions more effectively when compared to cases when KH waves are absent. This may contribute to the dawn favored temperature asymmetry of the plasma sheet; recent studies suggest KH waves favor the dawn flank during Parker-Spiral interplanetary magnetic field.

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics



American Geophysical Union

Grant or Award Name

NSF grant 1502774, NASA grant NNX16AF89G, Academy of Finland grant 288472