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Simulating Sources of Superstorm Plasmas

By Mei-Ching Fok

Abstract

We evaluated the contributions to magnetospheric pressure (ring current) of the solar wind, polar wind, auroral wind, and plasmaspheric wind, with the surprising result that the main phase pressure is dominated by plasmaspheric protons. We used global simulation fields from the LFM single fluid ideal MHD model. We embedded the Comprehensive Ring Current Model within it, driven by the LFM transpolar potential, and supplied with plasmas at its boundary including solar wind protons, polar wind protons, auroral wind O+, and plasmaspheric protons. We included auroral outflows and acceleration driven by the LFM ionospheric boundary condition, including parallel ion acceleration driven by upward currents. Our plasmasphere model runs within the CRCM and is driven by it. Ionospheric sources were treated using our Global Ion Kinetics code based on full equations of motion. This treatment neglects inertial loading and pressure exerted by the ionospheric plasmas, and will be superceded by multifluid simulations that include those effects. However, these simulations provide new insights into the respective role of ionospheric sources in storm-time magnetospheric dynamics

Topics: Astrophysics
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:casi.ntrs.nasa.gov:20080031331
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