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Global MHD simulation of flux transfer events at the high-latitude magnetopause observed by the cluster spacecraft and the SuperDARN radar system

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research
Pages (from-to)A07S22
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A global magnetohydrodynamic numerical simulation is used to study the large-scale structure and formation location of flux transfer events (FTEs) in synergy with in situ spacecraft and ground-based observations. During the main period of interest on the 14 February 2001 from 0930 to 1100 UT the Cluster spacecraft were approaching the Northern Hemisphere high-latitude magnetopause in the postnoon sector on an outbound trajectory. Throughout this period the magnetic field, electron, and ion sensors on board Cluster observed characteristic signatures of FTEs. A few minutes delayed to these observations the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) system indicated flow disturbances in the conjugate ionospheres. These “two-point” observations on the ground and in space were closely correlated and were caused by ongoing unsteady reconnection in the vicinity of the spacecraft. The three-dimensional structures and dynamics of the observed FTEs and the associated reconnection sites are studied by using the Block-Adaptive-Tree-Solarwind-Roe-Upwind-Scheme (BATS-R-US) MHD code in combination with a simple open flux tube motion model (Cooling). Using these two models the spatial and temporal evolution of the FTEs is estimated. The models fill the gaps left by measurements and allow a “point-to-point” mapping between the instruments in order to investigate the global structure of the phenomenon. The modeled results presented are in good correlation with previous theoretical and observational studies addressing individual features of FTEs.

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