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Ion acceleration at dipolarization fronts in the inner magnetosphere

AuthorUkhorskiy, A; Sitnov, M.; Merkin, V.; Gkioulidou, M.; Mitchell, D.;
Keywordsinjections; ring current; trapping; Van Allen Probes
AbstractDuring geomagnetic storms plasma pressure in the inner magnetosphere is controlled by energetic ions of tens to hundreds of keV. Plasma pressure is the source of global storm time currents, which control the distribution of magnetic field and couple the inner magnetosphere and the ionosphere. Recent analysis showed that the buildup of hot ion population in the inner magnetosphere largely occurs in the form of localized discrete injections associated with sharp dipolarizations of magnetic field, similar to dipolarization fronts in the magnetotail. Because of significant differences between the ambient magnetic field and the dipolarization front properties in the magnetotail and the inner magnetosphere, the physical mechanisms of ion acceleration at dipolarization fronts in these two regions may also be different. In this paper we discuss a new acceleration mechanism enabled by stable trapping of ions at the azimuthally localized dipolarization fronts. It is shown that trapping can provide a robust mechanism of ion energization in the inner magnetosphere even in the absence of large electric fields.
Year of Publication2017
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages
Date Published03/2017