© European Geosciences Union 2008
Cross-tail velocity component in the plasma sheet fast flows
Institute of Physics, University of St-Petersburg, St-Petersburg, Russia
Abstract. The flux transfer in the magnetotail plasma sheet is mainly provided by the tail-aligned fast plasma flows (Bursty Bulk Flows – BBFs). In this paper we study the events with a large cross-tail velocity component, including their occurrence and relationship to the standard BBFs. We found out that a significant part of large Vy events are a subgroup connected with the BBFs propagation. The maximal deviation of the velocity vector from the X direction (about 40–50 degrees, on average) is observed near the BBFs' leading front in the sheath, where the fast flow interacts with surrounding plasma. The average variation of the velocity direction in the vicinity of the BBF resembles a plasma vortex. Our results support the model, in which the BBF represents a polarized, bubble-like flux tube, propagating through the plasma sheet.