Continuum emission and broadband electrostatic noise at the low latitude boundary layer: A diagnostic of boundary layer dynamics

W. M. Farrell, R. J. Fitzenreiter, M. L. Kaiser, K. Goetz, M. Maksimovic, and M. J. Reiner

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771


We examine the plasma and radio waves near the inner edge of the low latitude boundary layer (LLBL) during a period of time when the layer is in a "pulsed" oscillating configuration. Previous work suggests there are numerous possible explanations for such oscillations including a Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, flux transfer events, and a boundary response to solar wind pressure oscillations. We demonstrate that the inner edge of the LLBL is indeed in motion, based upon the influence this motion has on the incident freely-propagating continuum emission. We also demonstrate that the inner boundary contains impulsive broadband events that appear, in high resolution, as a series of bipolar solitary pulses. These are the result of a kinetic electron beam instability occurring in association with the boundary fluid motion. We suggest that the large-scale fluid motion drives the kinetic instability via particle evacuation near the oscillating boundary.

Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 29, No. 12, 10.1029/2000GL012799, 2002e