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Plasmasphere dynamics in the duskside bulge region: A new look at old topicData acquired during several multiday periods in 1982 at ground stations Siple, Halley, and Kerguelen and on satellites Dynamics Explorer 1, International Sun Earth Explorer 1, and GEOS 2 have been used to investigate thermal plasma structure and dynamics in the duskside plasmasphere bulge region of the Earth. The distribution of thermal plasma in the dusk bulge sector is difficult to describe realistically, in part because of the time integral manner in which the thermal plasma distribution depends upon on the effects of bulk cross-B flow and interchange plasma flows along B. While relatively simple MHD models can be useful for qualitatively predicting certain effects of enhanced convection on a quiet plasmasphere, such as an initial sunward entrainment of the outer regions, they are of limited value in predicting the duskside thermal plasma structures that are observed. Furthermore, use of such models can be misleading if one fails to realize that they do not address the question of the formation of the steep plasmapause profile or provide for a possible role of instabilities or other irreversible processes in plasmapause formation. Our specific findings, which are based both upon the present case studies and upon earlier work, include the following: (1) during active periods the plasmasphere appears to become divided into two entities, a main plasmasphere and a duskside bulge region. (2) in the aftermath of an increase in convection activity, the main plasmasphere tends (from a statistical point of view) to become roughly circular in equatorial cross section, with only a slight bulge at dusk; (3) the abrupt westward edge of the duskside bulge observed from whistlers represents a state in the evolution of sunward extending streamers; (4) in the aftermath of a weak magnetic storm, 10 to 30% of the plasma 'removed' from the outer plasmasphere appears to remain in the afternoon-dusk sector beyond the main plasmasphere. (5) outlying dense plasma structures may circulate in the outer duskside magetosphere for many days following an increase in convection, unless there is extremely deep quieting; (6) a day-night plasmatrough boundary may be identified in equatorial satellite data; (7) factor-of-2-to-10 density irregularities appear near the plasmatrough from the ionosphere at L = 4.6, predominantly bidirectional field aligned and equatorially trapped light ion pitch angle distributions give away to a predominantly isotropic distribution (as seen by DE 1) when the plasma density reaches a level a factor of about 3 below the satured plasmasphere level; (9) some outlying dense plasma structures are effectively detached from the main plasmasphere, while others appear to be connected to that body.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Carpenter, D. L. (Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Giles, B. L. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Chappell, C. R. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Decreau, P. M. E. (CNRS France)
Anderson, R. R. (Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA United States)
Persoon, A. M. (Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA United States)
Smith, A. J. (Natural Environment Research Council Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Corcuff, Y. (Univ. de Poitiers France)
Canu, P. (Centre National d'Etudes des Telecommunications France)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 98
Issue: A11
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits