THEMIS observations of plasma transport via eddy diffusion

Izutsu, T.; Fujimoto, M.

We provide an event study of THEMIS observations of the low-latitude boundary layer in the dayside magnetosphere. Simultaneous multipoint observations obtained on 5 December 2008 show that the magnetosheath-like plasma in the low-latitude boundary layer is transferred earthward from the magnetopause. This earthward transport is accompanied by decrease in the density and fluctuating bulk flow. We calculate the eddy diffusion coefficients, which can be estimated from the observed velocity data, and found that the numbers are in good quantitative agreement with the spatial and time scales of the observed earthward transport signatures. It is shown that other possible plasma transport processes such as convection or diffusion induced by plasma wave turbulence are inconsistent with the observations. Our study strongly suggests that the observed transport is due to diffusive transport via turbulent eddy motions as is the case of an ordinary (Navier–Stokes) fluid.

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Izutsu, T. / Fujimoto, M.: THEMIS observations of plasma transport via eddy diffusion. 2012. Copernicus Publications.

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