Motion of the dipolarization front during a flow burst event observed by Cluster

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Abstract

[1] In this paper we study a flow burst event which took place during enhanced geomagnetic activity on July 22, 2001, when Cluster was located in the postmidnight magnetotail. The flow burst was associated with a clear dipolarization ahead of the high-speed part of the predominantly Earthward directed flow. Based on the analysis of the four spacecraft data, we found that a ∼2000 km thick dipolarization front moves Earthward and dawnward with a speed of ∼77 km/s. The plasma before this front is deflected, consistent with the plasma ahead of a localized plasma bubble centered at midnight side being pushed aside by the moving obstacle. The main body of the high-speed flow is directed mainly parallel to the dipolarization front. These observations indicate that the evolution of the dipolarization front across the tail is directly coupled with the fast flow.

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