O+ phase bunching and auroral arc structure
1994 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 99, 2461-2470 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The equations of motion are solved for ions moving in a model electric field that corresponds to the nightside equatorial region df the magnetosphere. The model represents the poleward region of the Harang discontinuity mapped to the magnetosphere. Within this region the model electric field has a constant earthward gradient superimposed on a constant dawn-to-dusk electric field. In combination with the earthward drift motion due to the dawn-to-dusk field, the electric field gradient introduces an earthward inertia drift, which is proportional to the ion mass and therefore faster for O+ ions than for H+ ions or electrons. It is also found that the entry of the ions into the gradient region causes phase bunching and as a result ion density striations form. The striations are enhanced for more abrupt changes in the electric field gradient, a weaker magnetic field, a stronger cross-tail electric field and colder O+ ions. The first two conditions apply during the growth phase of a substorm. Using the Tsyganenko (1987) model a minimum electric field gradient value of 1 x 1O(-9) V/m(2) ((1 mV/m)/1000 km) at L = 6-7 is found. Charge neutrality requires coupling with the ionosphere through electrons moving along magnetic held lines, and such electrons may be the cause of multiple auroral arcs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1994. Vol. 99, 2461-2470 p.
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-92881DOI: 10.1029/93JA02541OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-92881DiVA: diva2:514349
NR 201408052012-04-082012-04-072012-04-08Bibliographically approved