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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 6, issue 3/4
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 6, 187-194, 1999
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-6-187-1999
© Author(s) 1999. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Special issue: Nonlinear Waves and Chaos

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 6, 187-194, 1999
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-6-187-1999
© Author(s) 1999. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  31 Dec 1999

31 Dec 1999

Properties of fast solitary structures

R. E. Ergun, C. W. Carlson, L. Muschietti, I. Roth, and J. P. McFadden R. E. Ergun et al.
  • Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA. 94720, USA

Abstract. We present detailed observations of electromagnetic waves and particle distributions from the Fast Auroral SnapshoT (FAST) satellite which reveal many important properties of large-amplitude, spatially-coherent plasma structures known as "fast solitary structures" or "electron phase space holes". Similar structures have been observed in several regions of the magnetosphere including the auroral zone, plasma sheet boundary layer, and bow shock. There has been rapid theoretical progress in understanding these structures. Solitary structures can develop from bidirectional electron beams. Once developed, the one-dimensional properties parallel to the magnetic field can be adequately described by analytical treatment as BGK structures. There remains, however, several unanswered questions. The origin of the bidirectional electron beams, the development of two-or three-dimensional structures, and the observed association with the ion cyclotron frequency are not well understood.

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