skip to main content

DOE PAGESDOE PAGES

Title: Nonlinear electric field structures in the inner magnetosphere

Recent observations by the Van Allen Probes spacecraft have demonstrated that a variety of electric field structures and nonlinear waves frequently occur in the inner terrestrial magnetosphere, including phase space holes, kinetic field-line resonances, nonlinear whistler-mode waves, and several types of double layer. However, it is nuclear whether such structures and waves have a significant impact on the dynamics of the inner magnetosphere, including the radiation belts and ring current. To make progress toward quantifying their importance, this study statistically evaluates the correlation of such structures and waves with plasma boundaries. A strong correlation is found. These statistical results, combined with observations of electric field activity at propagating plasma boundaries, are consistent with the identification of these boundaries as the source of free energy responsible for generating the electric field structures and nonlinear waves of interest. Therefore, the ability of these structures and waves to influence plasma in the inner magnetosphere is governed by the spatial extent and dynamics of macroscopic plasma boundaries in that region.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [5]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States)
  5. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1200617
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-15-20089
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 16; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY Heliospheric and Magnetospheric Physics