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Quantification of the total ion transport in the near-Earth plasma sheet
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2347-1871
Department of Physics, Umeä University.
Department of Physics, Umeä University.
Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna.
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2017 (English)In: Annales Geophysicae, ISSN 0992-7689, E-ISSN 1432-0576, Vol. 35, no 4, 869-877 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent studies strongly suggest that a majority of the observed O+ cusp outflows will eventually escape into the solar wind, rather than be transported to the plasma sheet. Therefore, an investigation of plasma sheet flows will add to these studies and give a more complete picture of magnetospheric ion dynamics. Specifically, it will provide a greater understanding of atmospheric loss. We have used Cluster spacecraft 4 to quantify the H+ and O+ total transports in the near-Earth plasma sheet, using data covering 2001-2005. The results show that both H+ and O+ have earthward net fluxes of the orders of 1026 and 1024 s -1, respectively. The O+ plasma sheet return flux is 1 order of magnitude smaller than the O+ outflows observed in the cusps, strengthening the view that most ionospheric O+ outflows do escape. The H+ return flux is approximately the same as the ionospheric outflow, suggesting a stable budget of H+ in the magnetosphere. However, low-energy H+, not detectable by the ion spectrometer, is not considered in our study, leaving the complete magnetospheric H+ circulation an open question. Studying tailward flows separately reveals a total tailward O+ flux of about 0. 5 × 1025 s -1, which can be considered as a lower limit of the nightside auroral region O+ outflow. Lower velocity flows ( < 100kms -1) contribute most to the total transports, whereas the high-velocity flows contribute very little, suggesting that bursty bulk flows are not dominant in plasma sheet mass transport.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copernicus GmbH , 2017. Vol. 35, no 4, 869-877 p.
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-65090DOI: 10.5194/angeo-35-869-2017ISI: 000406343400001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85026464920OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-65090DiVA: diva2:1131682
Note

Validerad; 2017; Nivå 2; 2017-08-15 (andbra)

Available from: 2017-08-15 Created: 2017-08-15 Last updated: 2017-08-17Bibliographically approved

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