The Missing Link Coupling the Foreshock to the Magnetosphere?: Impact of the Magnetosheath Velocity Fluctuations on the Growth of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.

Friday, 19 December 2014: 10:50 AM
Katariina Nykyri1, Andrew P Dimmock2, Tuija I Pulkkinen2, Antonius Otto3 and Xuanye Ma3, (1)Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL, United States, (2)Aalto University, Aalto, Finland, (3)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States
Our statistical study of magnetosheath velocity fluctuations using 6+ years of THEMIS spacecraft measurements in Magnetosheath InterPlanetary Medium (MIPM) reference frame show that amplitudes of the velocity fluctuations are enhanced in the magnetosheath downstream of the quasi-parallel shock. The fluctuation amplitudes can be substantial and frequencies of these flcutuations can vary. We have examined the role of the i) amplitude, ii) frequency, iii) number of the modes, iv) as well as mode combinations of magnetosheath velocity fluctuations on the growth of Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability (KHI) using high-resolution macro-scale MHD simulations in magnetospheric inertial frame. The results show that even for the same magnetic field and plasma parameters across the magnetopause there can be major differences due to ‘magnetosheath fluctuation state’ on the growth and dynamical evolution of the KHI. This may provide the missing link how foreshock fluctuations couple to the magnetosphere and into the ionosphere