On the quasi-periodic nature of magnetopause flux transfer events

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Lockwood, Mike ; Wild, M. N. (1993)

The recurrence rate of flux transfer events (FTEs) observed near the dayside magnetopause is discussed. A survey of magnetopause observations by the ISEE satellites shows that the distribution of the intervals between FTE signatures has a mode value of 3 min, but is highly skewed, having upper and lower decile values of 1.5 min and 18.5 min, respectively. The mean value is found to be 8 min, consistent with previous surveys of magnetopause data. The recurrence of quasi-periodic events in the dayside auroral ionosphere is frequently used as evidence for an association with magnetopause FTEs, and the distribution of their repetition intervals should be matched to that presented here if such an association is to be confirmed. A survey of 1 year's 15-s data on the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) suggests that the derived distribution could arise from fluctuations in the IMF Bz component, rather than from a natural oscillation frequency of the magnetosphere-ionosphere system.
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