ISEE observations of flux transfer events at the dayside magnetopause


  • C. T. Russell,

  • R. C. Elphic


Magnetic field measurements from the ISEE 1 and 2 spacecraft are examined in the vicinity of the magnetopause near local noon on a typical pass when the magnetosheath field is southward. The data clearly show evidence for patchy impulsive reconnection. The flux transfer rate for these events is at least of the order of 1 to 2 × 1012 Maxwells per second, and possibly greater. This rate is similar to rates deduced for magnetopause erosion events. Not only are these observations relevant to the substorm process, but the impulsive nature of the flux transfer events leads to boundary oscillations that could also be the source of long period magnetic pulsations in the outer magnetosphere.