Cause of postterminator flux transfer events

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The local time at which flux transfer events (FTEs) are observed affects the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) dependence of their occurrence [Kawano and Russell, 1997]. Subsolar FTEs occur mainly during southward IMF, consistent with the dayside reconnection model. Postterminator FTEs occur during both southward and northward IMF but are not simply generated by pressure pulses convected to the magnetopause from the foreshock. This paper evaluates other possible generation mechanisms of these postterminator FTEs. We attribute the generation of the postterminator FTEs when IMF Bz < 0 to an "equatorial reconnection line," which is tilted according to the IMF By, just as we do for subsolar FTEs. When IMF Bz > 0, we find it unlikely that the postterminator FTEs are generated by local reconnection. Two possible sources are cusp reconnection and the "equatorial reconnection," with re-reconnection in the subsolar region [Nishida, 1989]. When the IMF is northerly directed but mostly equatorial, the "equatorial reconnection line" model fits better with observations. When the IMF is more northward, both models can explain observations we have at hand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number97JA02139
Pages (from-to)27029-27038
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA12
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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