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Plasma Sheet Circulation PathwaysGlobal simulations of Earth's magnetosphere in the solar wind compute the pathways of plasma circulation through the plasma sheet. We address the pathways that supply and drain the plasma sheet, by coupling single fluid simulations with Global Ion Kinetic simulations of the outer magnetosphere and the Comprehensive Ring Current Model of the inner magnetosphere, including plasmaspheric plasmas. We find that the plasma sheet is supplied with solar wind plasmas via the magnetospheric flanks, and that this supply is most effective for northward IMF. For southward IMF, the innermost plasma sheet and ring current region are directly supplied from the flanks, with an asymmetry of single particle entry favoring the dawn flank. The central plasma sheet (near midnight) is supplied, as expected, from the lobes and polar cusps, but the near-Earth supply consists mainly of slowly moving ionospheric outflows for typical conditions. Work with the recently developed multi-fluid LFM simulation shows transport via plasma "fingers" extending Earthward from the flanks, suggestive of an interchange instability. We investigate this with solar wind ion trajectories, seeking to understand the fingering mechanisms and effects on transport rates.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Moore, Thomas E.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Delcourt, D. C.
(Centre des Etudes Terrestraire et Planetaire France)
Slinker, S. P.
(Naval Research Lab. United States)
Fedder, J. A.
(Naval Research Lab. United States)
Damiano, P.
(Dartmouth Coll. Hanover, NH, United States)
Lotko, W.
(Dartmouth Coll. Hanover, NH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2008
Subject Category
Plasma Physics
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