Articles | Volume 6, issue 3/4
Special issue:
31 Dec 1999
31 Dec 1999

Characteristics of electrostatic solitary waves observed in the plasma sheet boundary: Statistical analyses

H. Kojima, Y. Omura, H. Matsumoto, K. Miyaguti, and T. Mukai

Abstract. We present the characteristics of the Electrostatic Solitary Waves (ESW) observed by the Geotail spacecraft in the plasma sheet boundary layer based on the statistical analyses. We also discuss the results referring to a model of ESW generation due to electron beams, which is proposed by computer simulations. In this generation model, the nonlinear evolution of Langmuir waves excited by electron bump-on-tail instabilities leads to formation of isolated electrostatic potential structures corresponding to "electron hole" in the phase space. The statistical analyses of the Geotail data, which we conducted under the assumption that polarity of ESW potentials is positive, show that most of ESW propagate in the same direction of electron beams, which are observed by the plasma instrument, simultaneously. Further, we also find that the ESW potential energy is much smaller than the background electron thermal energy and that the ESW potential widths are typically shorter than 60 times of local electron Debye length when we assume that the ESW potentials travel in the same velocity of electron beams. These results are very consistent with the ESW generation model that the nonlinear evolution of electron bump-on-tail instability leads to the formation of electron holes in the phase space.