5/17/2013 - The effects of transient, localized electric fields on equatorial electron acceleration and transpor


3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
6704 Geology

Presented By:
Christine Gabrielse -


Motivated by recent observations of intense electric fields and elevated energetic particle fluxes within flow bursts beyond geosynchronous altitude [Runov et al., 2009, 2011], we apply modeling of particle guiding centers in prescribed but realistic electric fields to improve our understanding of energetic particle acceleration and transport towards the inner magnetosphere through model-data comparisons. Representing the vortical nature of an earthward traveling flow burst, a localized, westward-directed transient electric field flanked on either side by eastward fields related to tailward flow is superimposed on a nominal steady-state electric field. We simulate particle spectra observed at multiple THEMIS spacecraft located throughout the magnetotail and fit the modeled spectra to observations, thus constraining properties of the electric field model. We find that a simple potential electric field model is capable of explaining the presence and spectral properties of both geosynchronous altitude and “trans-geosynchronous” injections at L-shells greater than 6.6 RE in a manner self-consistent with the injections’ inward penetration. In particular, despite the neglect of the magnetic field changes imparted by dipolarization and the inductive electric field associated with them, such a model can adequately describe the physics of both dispersed injections and depletions (“dips”) in energy flux in terms of convective fields associated with earthward flow channels and their return flow. The transient (impulsive), localized, and vortical nature of the earthward-propagating electric field pulse is what makes this model particularly effective.

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