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Finite-Larmor-radius equilibrium and currents of the Earth's flank magnetopause
Cerri, S. S.
AA(Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA)
Journal of Plasma Physics, Volume 84, Issue 5, article id. 555840501, 32 pp.
Publication Date:
space plasma physics, plasma flows
Abstract Copyright:
(c) 2018: © Cambridge University Press 2018
Bibliographic Code:


We consider the one-dimensional equilibrium problem of a shear-flow boundary layer within an `extended-fluid model' of a plasma that includes the Hall and the electron pressure terms in Ohm's law, as well as dynamic equations for anisotropic pressure for each species and first-order finite-Larmor-radius (FLR) corrections to the ion dynamics. We provide a generalized version of the analytic expressions for the equilibrium configuration given in Cerri et al., (Phys. Plasmas, vol. 20 (11), 2013, 112112), highlighting their intrinsic asymmetry due to the relative orientation of the magnetic field , , and the fluid vorticity (` asymmetry'). Finally, we show that FLR effects can modify the Chapman-Ferraro current layer at the flank magnetopause in a way that is consistent with the observed structure reported by Haaland et al., (J. Geophys. Res. (Space Phys.), vol. 119, 2014, pp. 9019-9037). In particular, we are able to qualitatively reproduce the following key features: (i) the dusk-dawn asymmetry of the current layer, (ii) a double-peak feature in the current profiles and (iii) adjacent current sheets having thicknesses of several ion Larmor radii and with different current directions.
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