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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., 24, 673-679, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-24-673-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
27 Oct 2017
Lifetime estimate for plasma turbulence
Yasuhito Narita1,2,3 and Zoltán Vörös1,2,4 1Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstr. 6, 8042 Graz, Austria
2Institute of Physics, University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 5, 8010 Graz, Austria
3Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
4Geodetic and Geophysical Institute, RCAES, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Sopron, Hungary
Abstract. A method is proposed to experimentally determine the intrinsic timescale or a decay rate of turbulent fluctuations. The method is based on the assumption that the Breit–Wigner spectrum model with a non-Gaussian frequency broadening is valid in the data analysis. The decay rate estimate is applied to the multispacecraft magnetic field data in interplanetary space, yielding the decay rate on spatial scales of about 1000 km (about 10 times larger than the ion inertial length), which is higher than the theoretical predictions from the random sweeping timescale of the eddy turnover time. The faster decay of fluctuation components in interplanetary space is interpreted as a realization of plasma physical (and not fluid mechanical) processes.

Citation: Narita, Y. and Vörös, Z.: Lifetime estimate for plasma turbulence, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 24, 673-679, https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-24-673-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
A method is proposed to determine the temporal decay rate of turbulent fluctuations, and is applied to four-point magnetic field data in interplanetary space. The measured decay, interpreted as the energy transfer rate in turbulence, is larger than the theoretical estimate from the fluid turbulence theory. The faster decay represents one of the differences in turbulent processes between fluid and plasma media.
A method is proposed to determine the temporal decay rate of turbulent fluctuations, and is...
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