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The Magnetopause Boundary Layer

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Final rept. 19 Feb 1987-18 May 1990,

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Theoretical models have been developed to describe the structure of, and dynamical processes in the magnetopause current layer and the adjoining low latitude boundary layer LLBL, including coupling of the latter to the dayside auroral ionosphere. Also a pilot study has been performed to demonstrate how information about magnetopause and boundary layer structure can be extracted from in-situ measurements of magnetic fields and plasma velocities. 1 Simple two-dimensional dynamic models of the LLBL and other shear flows have been developed and used to study the decay of shear layers, and the breakup of driven unstable shear flows, such as the LLBL, into quasisteady vortex rows similar to those observed in the post-noon auroral-zone ionosphere, or into turbulence. A steady-state viscous LLBL model has also generated in which the magnetic field deformation caused by the currents is included in a self consistent manner. 2 A viscous-resistive model of magnetic field annihilation at the magnetopause has been developed which allows for plasma flow along the reconnection line. 3 The structure of resistive and resistive dispersive MHD intermediate shocks has been determined and their possible role as part of the magnetopause structure assessed. 4 Certain geometric and dynamic properties of the magnetopauseLLBL have been extracted from AMPTEIRM data with special emphasis on magnetic-field reconnection and flux transfer events. jhd

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  • Atmospheric Physics

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