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Multi-Instrument Characterisation of Magnetospheric Cold Plasma Dynamics in the 22 June 2015 Geomagnetic Storm

Abstract We present a comparison of magnetospheric plasma mass/electron density observations during an 11-day interval which includes the geomagnetic storm of 22 June 2015. For this study we used: equatorial plasma mass density derived from geomagnetic field line resonances (FLRs) detected by Van Allen Probes and at the ground-based magnetometer networks EMMA and CARISMA; in situ electron density inferred by the Neural-network-based Upper hybrid Resonance Determination algorithm applied to plasma wave Van Allen Probes measurements. The combined observations at L ∼ 4, MLT ∼ 16 of the two longitudinally-separated magnetometer networks show a temporal pattern very similar to that of the in situ observations: a density decrease by an order of magnitude about 1 day after the Dst minimum, a partial recovery a few hours later, and a new strong decrease soon after. The observations are consistent with the position of the measurement points with respect to the plasmasphere boundary as derived by a plasmapause test particle simulation. A comparison between plasma mass densities derived from ground and in situ FLR observations during favourable conjunctions shows a good agreement. We find however, for L < ∼3, the spacecraft measurements to be higher than the corresponding ground observations with increasing deviation with decreasing L, which might be related to the rapid outbound spacecraft motion in that region. A statistical analysis of the average ion mass using simultaneous spacecraft measurements of mass and electron density indicates values close to 1 amu in plasmasphere and higher values (∼ 2-3 amu) in plasmatrough. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Vellante, M.; Takahashi, K.; Del Corpo, A.; Zhelavskaya, I.; Goldstein, J.; Mann, I.; Pietropaolo, E.; Reda, J.; Heilig, B.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 06/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

magnetoseismology; plasmasphere; Field line resonance; ground-based magnetometers; Van Allen Probes; Swarm satellites

Formation of the mass density peak at the magnetospheric equator triggered by EMIC waves

Abstract We report a simultaneous observation of two band electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves and toroidal Alfvén waves by the Van Allen Probe mission. Through wave frequency analyses, the mass density ρ is found to be locally peaked at the magnetic equator. Perpendicular fluxes of ions (< 100 eV) increase simultaneously with the appearances of EMIC waves, indicating a heating of these ions by EMIC waves. In addition, the measured ion distributions also support the equatorial peak formation, which accords with the result of the frequency analyses. The formation of local mass density peaks at the equator should be due to enhancements of equatorial ion concentrations, which are triggered by EMIC waves’ perpendicular heating on low energy ions.

Xue, Zuxiang; Yuan, Zhigang; Yu, Xiongdong; Shiyong, Huang; Qiao, Zheng;

Published by: Earth and Planetary Physics      Published on: 03/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Toroidal Alfven waves; EMIC waves; magnetoseismology; equatorial mass density peak; Van Allen Probes