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Ground-based observations of locally confined, very intense, drifting current systems by the EISCAT magnetometer cross in correlation with GEOS-2 measurements will be explained in terms of kinetic Alfven waves. Particle and magnetic flux measurements on GEOS-2 indicate an excitation of the waves at the inner edge of the earthward-drifting plasma sheet by resonance mode conversion from hydromagnetic surface waves. The collapsing tail-like field configuration itself is identified as the surface wave. The comparison of theoretically deduced quantities with observational results reveals a satisfactory agreement between observations and theory.
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