Empirical modeling of the storm-time innermost magnetosphere using Van Allen Probes and THEMIS data: Eastward and banana currents

Author
Keywords
Abstract
The structure of storm-time currents in the inner magnetosphere, including its innermost region inside 4RE, is studied for the first time using a modification of the empirical geomagnetic field model TS07D and new data from Van Allen Probes and THEMIS missions. It is shown that the model, which uses basis-function expansions instead of ad hoc current modules to approximate the magnetic field, consistently improves its resolution and magnetic field reconstruction with the increase of the number of basis functions and resolves the spatial structure and evolution of the innermost eastward current. This includes a connection between the westward ring current flowing largely at inline image and the eastward ring current concentrated at inline image resulting in a vortex current pattern. A similar pattern coined \textquoteleftbanana current\textquoteright was previously inferred from the pressure distributions based on the energetic neutral atom imaging and first-principles ring current simulations. The morphology of the equatorial currents is dependent on storm phase. During the main phase, it is complex, with several asymmetries forming \textquoterightbanana currents\textquoteright. Near Sym-H minimum, the \textquoterightbanana current\textquoteright is strongest, is localized in the evening-midnight sector, and is more structured compared to the main phase. It then weakens during the recovery phase resulting in the equatorial currents to become mostly azimuthally symmetric.
Year of Publication
2015
Journal
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages
n/a - n/a
Date Published
01/2015
URL
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/2015JA021700
DOI
10.1002/2015JA021700