One-Dimensional Full Wave Simulation of Equatorial Magnetosonic Wave Propagation in an Inhomogeneous Magnetosphere

The effect of the plasmapause on equatorially radially propagating fast magnetosonic (MS) waves in the Earth\textquoterights dipole magnetic field is studied by using finite difference time domain method. We run 1-D simulation for three different density profiles: (1) no plasmapause, (2) with a plasmapause, and (3) with a plasmapause accompanied with fine-scale density irregularity. We find that (1) without plasmapause the radially inward propagating MS wave can reach ionosphere and continuously propagate to lower altitude if no damping mechanism is considered. The wave properties follow the cold plasma dispersion relation locally along its trajectory. (2) For simulation with a plasmapause with a scale length of 0.006 RE compared to wavelength, only a small fraction of the MS wave power is reflected by the plasmapause. WKB approximation is generally valid for such plasmapause. (3) The multiple fine-scale density irregularities near the outer edge of plasmapause can effectively block the MS wave propagation, resulting in a terminating boundary for MS waves near the plasmapause.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published