Particle Scattering and Current Sheet Stability in the Geomagnetic Tail During the Substorm Growth-Phase

T.I. Pulkkinen, DN BAKER, RJ PELLINEN, J BUCHNER, HEJ KOSKINEN, RE LOPEZ, RL DYSON, LA FRANK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The degree of pitch angle scattering and chaotization of various particle populations in the geomagnetic tail during the substorm growth phase is studied by utilizing the Tsyganenko 1989 magnetic field model. A temporally evolving magnetic field model for the growth phase is constructed by enhancing the near-Earth currents and thinning the current sheet from the values given by the static Tsyganenko model. Changing the field geometry toward an increasingly taillike configuration leads to pitch angle scattering of particles whose Larmor radii become comparable to the field line radius of curvature. Several different cases representing substorms with varying levels of magnetic disturbance have been studied. In each case, the field development during the growth phase leads to considerable scattering of the thermal electrons relatively close to the Earth. The current sheet regions where the electron motion is chaotic are magnetically mapped to the ionosphere and compared with low-altitude measurements of electron precipitation. ne chaotization of the thermal electron population occurs within a few minutes of the substorm onset, and the ionospheric mappings of the chaotic regions in the equatorial plane compare well with the region of brightening auroras. Even though the temporal evolution of the complex plasma system cannot be self-consistently described by the temporal evolution of the empirical field model, these models can provide the most accurate estimates of the field parameters for tail stability calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19283-19297
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume97
Issue numberA12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1992
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • MAGNETOSPHERIC MAGNETIC-FIELD
  • TEARING MODE
  • QUANTITATIVE MODELS
  • EARTH MAGNETOTAIL
  • HIGH-LATITUDES
  • PLASMA SHEET
  • INSTABILITY
  • SPACECRAFT
  • DISRUPTION
  • DIVERSION

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