Reconnection sites of spatial cusp structures

Academic Article


  • The interconnection of the interplanetary magnetic field with the geomagnetic field is thought to be the dominant process for mass, energy, and momentum transfer from the magnetosheath into the magnetosphere. Downward precipitating ions from the reconnection site are observed in the cusp by polar orbiting satellites and exhibit sudden changes in their ion‐energy distributions, forming distinctive structures. These structures have been identified as temporal structures, most likely caused by variations of the reconnection rate at the magnetopause, as well as spatial structures caused by spatially separated flux tubes. Comparisons of spatial cusp structures observed by Cluster with simultaneously observed ionospheric convection pattern derived from SuperDARN radar observations showed that spatial cusp structures are linked with separated ionospheric convection cells. It has been suggested that these convection cells and their related spatial cusp structures are driven by multiple reconnection lines at the magnetopause. This study revisits a spatial cusp structure event and shows that the two dispersion events are indeed coming from separated reconnection lines located in different hemispheres.
  • Authors

  • Trattner, KJ
  • Fuselier, SA
  • Petrinec, SM
  • Yeoman, TK
  • Mouikis, Christoforos
  • Kucharek, Harald
  • Reme, H
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • April 9, 2005
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • A04207
  • End Page

  • A04207
  • Volume

  • 110
  • Issue

  • A4