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What frequencies of standing surface waves can the subsolar magnetopause support?

It is has been proposed that the subsolar magnetopause may support its own eigenmode, consisting of propagating surface waves which reflect at the northern/southern ionospheres forming a standing wave. While the eigenfrequencies of these so-called Kruskal-Schwartzschild (KS) modes have been estimated under typical conditions, the potential distribution of frequencies over the full range of solar wind conditions is not know. Using models of the magnetosphere and magnetosheath applied to an entire solar cycle\textquoterights worth of solar wind data, we perform time-of-flight calculations yielding a database of KS mode frequencies. Under non-storm times or northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), the most likely fundamental frequency is calculated to be inline image mHz, consistent with previous estimates and indirect observational evidence for such standing surface waves of the subsolar magnetopause. However, the distributions exhibit significant spread (of order \textpm0.3 mHz) demonstrating that KS mode frequencies, especially higher harmonics, should vary considerably depending on the solar wind conditions. The implications of such large spread on observational statistics are discussed. The subsolar magnetopause eigenfrequencies are found to be most dependent on the solar wind speed, southward component of the IMF and the Dst index, with the latter two being due to the erosion of the magnetosphere by reconnection and the former an effect of the expression for the surface wave phase speed. Finally, the possible occurrence of KS modes is shown to be controlled by the dipole tilt angle.

Archer, M.; Plaschke, F.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020545

magnetopause; magnetosheath; Magnetosphere; Ulf; waves

Simulation of ULF wave modulated radiation belt electron precipitation during the 17 March 2013 storm

Balloon-borne instruments detecting radiation belt precipitation frequently observe oscillations in the mHz frequency range. Balloons measuring electron precipitation near the poles in the 100 keV to 2.5 MeV energy range, including the MAXIS, MINIS, and most recently the BARREL balloon experiments, have observed this modulation at ULF wave frequencies [e.g. Foat et al., 1998; Millan et al., 2002; Millan, 2011]. Although ULF waves in the magnetosphere are seldom directly linked to increases in electron precipitation since their oscillation periods are much larger than the gyroperiod and the bounce period of radiation belt electrons, test particle simulations show that this interaction is possible [Brito et al., 2012]. 3D simulations of radiation belt electrons were performed to investigate the effect of ULF waves on precipitation. The simulations track the behavior of energetic electrons near the loss cone, using guiding center techniques, coupled with an MHD simulation of the magnetosphere, using the LFM code, during a CME-shock event on 17 March 2013. Results indicate that ULF modulation of precipitation occurs even without the presence of EMIC waves, which are not resolved in the MHD simulation. The arrival of a strong CME-shock, such as the one simulated, disrupts the electric and magnetic fields in the magnetosphere and causes significant changes in both components of momentum, pitch angle and L-shell of radiation belt electrons, which may cause them to precipitate into the loss cone.

Brito, T.; Hudson, M.; Kress, B.; Paral, J.; Halford, A.; Millan, R.; Usanova, M.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020838

precipitation; Radiation belts; Ulf; ULF modulation


Precipitation and energization of relativistic radiation belt electrons induced by ULF oscillations in the magnetosphere

There is a renewed interest in the study of the radiation belts with the recent launch of the Van Allen Probes satellites. The mechanisms that drive the global response of the radiation belts to geomagnetic storms are not yet well understood. Global simulations using magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) model fields as drivers provide a valuable tool for studying the dynamics of these MeV energetic particles. ACE satellite measurements of the MHD solar wind parameters are used as the upstream boundary condition for the Lyon-Fedder-Mobarry (LFM) 3D MHD code calculation of fields, used to drive electrons in 2D and 3D test particle simulations. In this study simulations were performed to investigate energization and loss of energetic radiation belt electrons. The response of the radiation belts to a CME-shock driven storm on January 21, 2005 during the MINIS balloon campaign was investigated, focusing on precipitation mechanisms by which Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) waves influence the radiation belt population. ULF wave modulation of MeV electron precipitation loss to the atmosphere has been reported in this and other balloon-borne measurements of X-ray bremsstrahlung and was observed in the simulations. Next, a pair of solar wind structures identified as Corotating Interaction Regions (CIR) in solar wind plasma measurements from the ACE satellite were studied during approach to the recent extended solar minimum. Such structures have previously been determined to be geoeffective in producing enhanced outer zone radiation belt electron fluxes, on average greater than at solar maximum. This study provides a comparison of 2D and 3D particle dynamics in MHD simulation fields, incorporating the additional diffusive feature of Shabansky orbit trapping of electrons in the magnetic minima on the dayside above and below the equatorial plane.

Brito, Thiago;

Published by:       Published on:

YEAR: 2014     DOI:

0373:Geophysics; 0607:Electromagnetics; 0725:Atmospheric sciences; Atmospheric sciences; Earth sciences; Electromagnetics; Energization; Geophysics; precipitation; Pure sciences; Radiation belts; Ulf