Auroral zone plasma waves detected at polar: PCBL waves

B. T. Tsurutani, J. K. Arballo, C. Galvan, L. D. Zhang, G. S. Lakhina, T. Hada, J. S. Pickett, D. A. Gurnett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Polar Cap Boundary Layer waves are ELF/VLF electric and magnetic waves detected on field lines adjacent to the polar cap, thus their name. Waves are present at this location 96% of the time. The wave latitude-local time distribution is shown to be the same as that of the auroral oval. The most intense waves are detected coincident with the strongest magnetic field gradients (field-aligned currents). Specific frequency bands of whistler mode-waves are identified: ~200 Hz, 1-2 kHz and ~5 kHz. Two types of intense electric waves are present: Solitary bipolar pulses (electron holes) and ~kHz electric turbulence. The PCBL waves are most likely a consequence of auroral zone field-aligned current instabilities. The currents have in turn been ascribed to be due to magnetospheric convection driven by the solar wind.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1655-1659
    Number of pages5
    JournalAdvances in Space Research
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Geophysics
    • Atmospheric Science
    • Space and Planetary Science
    • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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