Articles | Volume 17, issue 3
16 Jun 2010
 | 16 Jun 2010

Is current disruption associated with an inverse cascade?

Z. Vörös, A. Runov, M. P. Leubner, W. Baumjohann, and M. Volwerk

Abstract. Current disruption (CD) and the related kinetic instabilities in the near-Earth magnetosphere represent physical mechanisms which can trigger multi-scale substorm activity including global reorganizations of the magnetosphere. Lui et al. (2008) proposed a CD scenario in which the kinetic scale linear modes grow and reach the typical dipolarization scales through an inverse cascade. The experimental verification of the inverse nonlinear cascade is based on wavelet analysis. In this paper the Hilbert-Huang transform is used which is suitable for nonlinear systems and allows to reconstruct the time-frequency representation of empirical decomposed modes in an adaptive manner. It was found that, in the Lui et al. (2008) event, the modes evolve globally from high-frequencies to low-frequencies. However, there are also local frequency evolution trends oriented towards high-frequencies, indicating that the underlying processes involve multi-scale physics and non-stationary fluctuations for which the simple inverse cascade scenario is not correct.