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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 21, 1075-1083, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-21-1075-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
11 Nov 2014
Wavevector anisotropy of plasma turbulence at ion kinetic scales: solar wind observations and hybrid simulations
H. Comişel1,2, Y. Narita3,4, and U. Motschmann1,5 1Institut für Theoretische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
2Institute for Space Sciences, Atomiştilor 409, P.O. Box MG-23, Bucharest-Măgurele 77125, Romania
3Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstr. 6, 8042 Graz, Austria
4Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
5Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Planetenforschung, Rutherfordstr. 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Abstract. Wavevector anisotropy of ion-scale plasma turbulence is studied at various values of ion beta. Two complementary methods are used. One is multi-point measurements of magnetic field in the near-Earth solar wind as provided by the Cluster spacecraft mission, and the other is hybrid numerical simulation of two-dimensional plasma turbulence. Both methods demonstrate that the wavevector anisotropy is reduced with increasing values of ion beta. Furthermore, the numerical simulation study shows the existence of a scaling law between ion beta and the wavevector anisotropy of the fluctuating magnetic field that is controlled by the thermal or hybrid particle-in-cell simulation noise. Likewise, there is weak evidence that the power-law scaling can be extended to the turbulent fluctuating cascade. This fact can be used to construct a diagnostic tool to determine or to constrain ion beta using multi-point magnetic field measurements in space.

Citation: Comişel, H., Narita, Y., and Motschmann, U.: Wavevector anisotropy of plasma turbulence at ion kinetic scales: solar wind observations and hybrid simulations, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 21, 1075-1083, https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-21-1075-2014, 2014.
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