Simulations of Van Allen Probes Plasmaspheric Electron Density Observations

TitleSimulations of Van Allen Probes Plasmaspheric Electron Density Observations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsDe Pascuale, S, Jordanova, VK, Goldstein, J, Kletzing, CA, Kurth, WS, Thaller, SA, Wygant, JR
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published11/2018
Keywordsconvection; observations; plasmasphere; RBSP; simulation; Van Allen Probes
Abstract We simulate equatorial plasmaspheric electron densities using a physics‐based model (Cold PLasma, CPL; used in the ring current‐atmosphere interactions model) of the source and loss processes of refilling and erosion driven by empirical inputs. The performance of CPL is evaluated against in situ measurements by the Van Allen Probes (Radiation Belt Storm Probes) for two events: the 31 May to 5 June and 15 to 20 January 2013 geomagnetic storms observed in the premidnight and postmidnight magnetic local time (MLT) sectors, respectively. Overall, CPL reproduces the radial extent of the plasmasphere to within a mean absolute difference of urn:x-wiley:jgra:media:jgra54637:jgra54637-math-0001 L. The model electric field responsible for E × B convection and the parameterization of geomagnetic conditions (under the Kp‐index and solar wind properties) implemented by CPL did not account for localized enhancements in the duskward electric field during increased activity. Rather, it was found to be largely dependent on the measure of the quiet time background. This property indicates that the agreement between these simulations and observations does not account for the complete set of physical processes during extreme (strong or weak) geomagnetic conditions impacting the plasmasphere. Nevertheless, at the presented resolution of the model CPL does provide good agreement in reproducing Radiation Belt Storm Probes observations of plasmaspheric density and plasmapause location.
Short TitleJ. Geophys. Res. Space Physics

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