Ring Current Decay During Geomagnetic Storm Recovery Phase: Comparison Between RBSP Observations and Theoretical Modeling
Ring current decay during storm recovery phase may be affected by different loss processes. In this study, we have investigated the lifetimes of ring current ions (H+ and O+) of energies from 1 keV to several hundred keV at L shell from 3 to 6 during the storm recovery phase through a statistical survey. The observational data of 48 geomagnetic storms from March 2013 to May 2019 are collected based on Van Allen Probe observations. We find that (1) the observed lifetimes of H+ and O+ in general increase with L shell and (2) the lifetimes of H+ is short than that of O+ when E < ∼50 keV while the situation is reversed when E > ∼50 keV. In addition, we have made use of the charge exchange theory, combined with previous experimental results on the charge exchange cross section and two distribution models of neutral hydrogen atoms in the exosphere, so as to directly estimate the ring current ions decay caused by charge exchange mechanism only. Through the comparison between the model predictions of charge exchange lifetime and the observed lifetimes, we find that (3) the observed lifetimes are in general consistent with model results, which confirms that charge exchange is a dominant loss mechanism of ring current ions during storm recovery phase.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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