Bursty bulk flow (BBF) events, frequently observed in the magnetotail, carry significant energy and mass from the tail region at distances > 20 Earth radii to the near-Earth plasma sheet at 10 Earth radii where the flow is slowed and/or diverted.
Since the plasma in this environment is collisionless, the energy in the turbulent fluctuations within these events must be dissipated through a non-viscous/non-resistive process. In this presentation, we consider a mechanism where energy is dissipated through the destabilization of field-aligned currents generated by the turbulence into nonlinear electrostatic structures, which can then accelerate particles. Observations from the THEMIS spacecraft provide support for this mechanism.
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