THEMIS observation of intermittent turbulence behind the quasi-parallel and quasi-perpendicular shocks

Turbulence is complex behavior that is ubiquitous in nature, but its mechanism is still not sufficiently clear. Therefore, the main aim of this paper is analysis of intermittent turbulence in magnetospheric and solar wind plasmas using a statistical approach based on experimental data acquired from space missions. The quintet spacecraft of Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) allows us to investigate the details of turbulent plasma parameters behind the collisionless shocks. We investigate both the solar wind and magnetospheric data by using statistical probability distribution functions of Elsässer variables that can reveal the intermittent character of turbulence in space plasma. Our results suggest that turbulence behind the quasi-perpendicular shock is more intermittent with larger kurtosis than that behind the quasi-parallel shocks, which are immersed in a relatively quiet solar wind plasma, as confirmed by Wind measurements. It seems that behind the quasi-perpendicular shock the waves propagating outward from the Sun are larger than possibly damped waves propagating inward. In particular, we hope that this difference in characteristic behavior of the fluctuating space plasma parameters behind both types of shocks can help identify complex plasma structures in the future space missions. We also expect that the results obtained in this paper will be important for general models of turbulence.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages
Date Published