Auroral zone plasma waves detected at polar: PCBL waves

B. T. Tsurutani, J. K. Arballo, C. Galvan, L. D. Zhang, G. S. Lakhina, Tohru Hada, J. S. Pickett, D. A. Gurnett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Polar Cap Boundary Layer waves are ELF/VLF electric and magnetic waves detected on field lines adjacent to the polar cap, thus their name. Waves are present at this location 96% of the time. The wave latitude-local time distribution is shown to be the same as that of the auroral oval. The most intense waves are detected coincident with the strongest magnetic field gradients (field-aligned currents). Specific frequency bands of whistler mode-waves are identified: ~200 Hz, 1-2 kHz and ~5 kHz. Two types of intense electric waves are present: Solitary bipolar pulses (electron holes) and ~kHz electric turbulence. The PCBL waves are most likely a consequence of auroral zone field-aligned current instabilities. The currents have in turn been ascribed to be due to magnetospheric convection driven by the solar wind.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1655-1659
    Number of pages5
    JournalAdvances in Space Research
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001


    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Geophysics
    • Atmospheric Science
    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

    Cite this

    Tsurutani, B. T., Arballo, J. K., Galvan, C., Zhang, L. D., Lakhina, G. S., Hada, T., ... Gurnett, D. A. (2001). Auroral zone plasma waves detected at polar: PCBL waves. Advances in Space Research, 28(11), 1655-1659.