Wave-particle interactions in the Earth's inner magnetosphere, radiation belt dynamics, ionospheric plasma sources, and coupling

The first part of this combined session is dedicated to wave-particle interactions in the Earth's inner magnetosphere, radiation belt dynamics, and coupling. Wave-particle interactions represent a unique mechanism of an energy transfer in the nearly collisionless plasma environment of the Earth's inner magnetosphere. The resulting particle acceleration, transport, and loss, is crucial for understanding the dynamics of the Van Allen radiation belts. The forecasting of the radiation belts is further dependent on understanding the coupling with external regions (e.g. solar wind, foreshock, magnetosheath), and the processes that dictate their global dynamics. Additionally, precipitating magnetospheric particles cause changes in the ionospheric conductivity and may affect the upper atmospheric chemistry. The aim is to discuss the dynamics of the radiation belts, wave-particle interactions in the Earth's inner magnetosphere, as well as generation mechanisms and properties of involved electromagnetic emissions (EMIC, chorus, hiss, fast magnetosonic waves, etc.) in various frequency ranges. Theoretical and model contributions, as well as observational studies using data from older and recent satellite missions and ground-based instruments are encouraged.

The second part of the combined session is dedicated to the ionospheric sources of plasma and effects on the plasmasphere and magnetosphere. The Earth’s ionosphere is composed of cold plasma that includes protons and heavy ions. This plasma can escape to the magnetosphere following the Earth's magnetic field lines in the polar regions, and form the plasmasphere in the low- and mid-latitude regions. Therefore, the ionosphere is an important source that provides plasma to the magnetosphere and profoundly impacts its global dynamics. Depending on the path of these ions in the magnetosphere, they can end up forming cold and warm ionospheric outflows, plasmaspheric plumes, or the warm plasma cloak, and also feed the plasma sheet and ring current. Recent simulations and observations from numerous missions have sought to identify the origin, transport, and loss of plasma originating in the ionosphere and transported into the magnetosphere. These ions modify the plasma properties, and have an impact on key plasma dynamics such as wave generation and transport, particle acceleration or magnetic reconnection. This session welcomes presentations on all aspects related to ionospheric plasma in the magnetosphere.

Convener: Frantisek Nemec | Co-conveners: Sergio Toledo-RedondoECSECS, Richard Boynton, Fabien Darrouzet, Andrew Dimmock, Stephen Fuselier, Elena KronbergECSECS, Sarah VinesECSECS
vPICO presentations
| Fri, 30 Apr, 09:00–12:30 (CEST)

vPICO presentations: Fri, 30 Apr

Chairpersons: Frantisek Nemec, Richard Boynton, Fabien Darrouzet
Wave-particle interactions in the Earth's inner magnetosphere, radiation belt dynamics, and coupling
Solène Lejosne and Forrest S. Mozer

High-energy resolution measurements of energetic (tens to hundreds of keV) electron fluxes in the Earth’s inner radiation belt and slot region (below L~ 3) revealed the presence of drift-periodic structures named the “zebra stripes”.

We show that analyzing the characteristics of the zebra stripes provides a new tool to shed light on important, yet mostly uncharted drivers of the Earth’s inner magnetosphere, namely, (a) radial displacements of geomagnetically trapped particles in the inner belt and slot region, and (b) electric field variations in the subauroral region.

With the large database of high-quality observations provided by the NASA Van Allen Probes mission, it is for the first time possible to perform long-term statistical analysis of the zebra stripe pattern.

Because Earth-like zebra stripes were also recently discovered at Saturn, the analysis of the zebra stripes present at Earth could constitute a benchmark to determine the electric fields and associated radiation belt dynamics at other magnetized planets.

How to cite: Lejosne, S. and Mozer, F. S.: The Magnetospheric “Zebra Stripes”: A Tracer of Near-Earth Space Dynamics, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2042,, 2021.

Marina Georgiou, Christos Katsavrias, Ioannis Daglis, Georgios Balasis, and Alexander Hillaris

Several observational studies have shown that external (i.e. solar wind and magnetosheath) dynamic pressure variations can drive quasi-periodic perturbations of the geomagnetic field. In this study, we utilise multi-spacecraft (ARTEMIS, Cluster, GOES, and THEMIS) mission measurements and investigate step-like increases and quasi-periodic variations of solar wind dynamic pressure as the source mechanism of geomagnetic pulsations with frequencies between ~0.5 to 15 mHz. During intervals of slow solar wind and low geomagnetic activity — to exclude waves generated by velocity shear at the magnetopause and substorm contributions — common periodicities in electromagnetic field oscillations inside the magnetosphere and the solar wind driver are detected in Lomb-Scargle periodograms. The causal relationship is examined in frequency and polarisation signatures of waves detected at the various probes using continuous wavelet transform, cross-wavelet spectra and wavelet transform coherence. The observed dependence of wave properties on their localisation offers excellent source verification for ULF Pc4-5  waves originating in dynamic pressure variations in the upstream solar wind and propagating in the dayside magnetosphere through the field line resonance process.

This research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund - ESF) through the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020” in the context of the project ULFpulse (MIS: 5048130).

How to cite: Georgiou, M., Katsavrias, C., Daglis, I., Balasis, G., and Hillaris, A.: On the origin of Ultra-Low Frequency (ULF) waves in sudden and quasiperiodic solar wind dynamic pressure variations penetrating into Earth’s magnetosphere, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15124,, 2021.

Sarah Bentley, Rhys Thompson, Clare Watt, Jennifer Stout, and Teo Bloch

We present and analyse a freely-available model of the power found in ultra-low frequency waves (ULF, 1-15 mHz) throughout Earth’s magnetosphere. Predictions can be used to test our understanding of magnetospheric dynamics, while accurate models of these waves are required to characterise the energisation and transport of radiation belt electrons in space weather.

This model is constructed using decision tree ensembles, which iteratively partition the given parameter space into variable size bins. Wave power is determined by physical driving parameters (e.g. solar wind properties) and spatial parameters of interest (magnetic local time MLT, magnetic latitude and frequency). As a parameterised model, there is no guarantee that individual physical processes can be extracted and analysed. However, by iteratively considering smaller scale driving processes, we identify predominant wave drivers and find that solar wind driving of ULF waves are moderated by internal magnetospheric conditions. Significant remaining uncertainty occurs with mild solar wind driving, suggesting that the internal state of the magnetosphere should be included in future.

Models such as this may be used to create global magnetospheric “maps” of predicted wave power which may then be used to create radial diffusion coefficients determining the effect of ULF waves on radiation belt electrons.

How to cite: Bentley, S., Thompson, R., Watt, C., Stout, J., and Bloch, T.: The magnetospheric interactions of predicted ULF wave power, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15528,, 2021.

Christopher Lara, Pablo S. Moya, Victor Pinto, Javier Silva, and Beatriz Zenteno

The inner magnetosphere is a very important region to study, as with satellite-based communications increasing day after day, possible disruptions are especially relevant due to the possible consequences in our daily life. It is becoming very important to know how the radiation belts behave, especially during strong geomagnetic activity. The radiation belts response to geomagnetic storms and solar wind conditions is still not fully understood, as relativistic electron fluxes in the outer radiation belt can be depleted, enhanced or not affected following intense activity. Different studies show how these results vary in the face of different events. As one of the main mechanisms affecting the dynamics of the radiation belt are wave-particle interactions between relativistic electrons and ULF waves. In this work we perform a statistical study of the relationship between ULF wave power and relativistic electron fluxes in the outer radiation belt during several geomagnetic storms, by using magnetic field and particle fluxes data measured by the Van Allen Probes between 2012 and 2017. We evaluate the correlation between the changes in flux and the cumulative effect of ULF wave activity during the main and recovery phases of the storms for different position in the outer radiation belt and energy channels. Our results show that there is a good correlation between the presence of ULF waves and the changes in flux during the recovery phase of the storm and that correlations vary as a function of energy. Also, we can see in detail how the ULF power change for the electron flux at different L-shell We expect these results to be relevant for the understanding of the relative role of ULF waves in the enhancements and depletions of energetic electrons in the radiation belts for condition described.

How to cite: Lara, C., Moya, P. S., Pinto, V., Silva, J., and Zenteno, B.: On the effect of ULF waves on the outer radiation belt during geomagnetic storms, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5977,, 2021.

Jasmine Sandhu, Jonathan Rae, John Wygant, Aaron Breneman, Sheng Tian, Frances Staples, Maria-Theresia Walach, David Hartley, Clare Watt, Kyle Murphy, Tom Elsden, Richard Horne, Louis Ozeke, and Marina Georgiou

Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) waves drive radial diffusion of radiation belt electrons, where this process contributes to and, at times, dominates energisation, loss, and large scale transport of the outer radiation belt. In this study we quantify the changes and variability in ULF wave power during geomagnetic storms, through a statistical analysis of Van Allen Probes data for the time period spanning 2012 – 2019. The results show that global wave power enhancements occur during the main phase, and continue into the recovery phase of storms. Local time asymmetries show sources of ULF wave power are both external solar wind driving as well as internal sources from coupling with ring current ions and substorms.

The statistical analysis demonstrates that storm time ULF waves are able to access lower L values compared to pre-storm conditions, with enhancements observed within L = 4. We assess how magnetospheric compressions and cold plasma distributions shape how ULF wave power propagates through the magnetosphere. Results show that the Earthward displacement of the magnetopause is a key factor in the low L enhancements. Furthermore, the presence of plasmaspheric plumes during geomagnetic storms plays a crucial role in trapping ULF wave power, and contributes significantly to large storm time enhancements in ULF wave power.

The results have clear implications for enhanced radial diffusion of the outer radiation belt during geomagnetic storms. Estimates of storm time radial diffusion coefficients are derived from the ULF wave power observations, and compared to existing empirical models of radial diffusion coefficients. We show that current Kp-parameterised models, such as the Ozeke et al. [2014] model, do not fully capture the large variability in storm time radial diffusion coefficients or the extent of enhancements in the magnetic field diffusion coefficients.

How to cite: Sandhu, J., Rae, J., Wygant, J., Breneman, A., Tian, S., Staples, F., Walach, M.-T., Hartley, D., Watt, C., Murphy, K., Elsden, T., Horne, R., Ozeke, L., and Georgiou, M.: ULF Wave Power During Geomagnetic Storms and Implications for Radial Diffusion Processes, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11203,, 2021.

Harriet George, Emilia Kilpua, Adnane Osmane, Urs Ganse, Solene Lejosne, Milla Kalliokoski, Lucile Turc, Markus Battarbee, Yann Pfau-Kempf, Maarja Bussov, Maxime Grandin, Andreas Johlander, Jonas Suni, Maxime Dubart, Konstantinos Papadakis, Markku Alho, Hongyang Zhou, and Minna Palmroth

The relative importance of radial diffusion and local acceleration to the dynamics of outer radiation belt electron populations is an open question in radiation belt physics. A key component of this discussion is the calculation of the radial diffusion coefficients, which quantify the effect of radial diffusion on an electron population. However, there is currently a broad range of radial diffusion coefficient values in the literature, which presents difficulties when determining the dominant process governing radiation belt energisation. Here we develop a methodology for the calculation of radial diffusion coefficients using Vlasiator, a 5D hybrid-Vlasov simulation of near-Earth space, and calculate the radial diffusion coefficients for a 10 MeV electron population at multiple locations within the outer radiation belt.


Vlasiator currently models ions as velocity distribution functions and electrons as a magnetohydrodynamic fluid, so the drift motion of the electron population can not be directly studied. However, the ion dynamics accurately determine the magnetic field in the inner magnetosphere, and the spatial and temporal magnetic field variations can be used to calculate the radial diffusion coefficient of a population according to principles outlined in Lejosne et. al. 2020.  Four magnetic field isocontours in the outer radiation belt are used to model the guiding centre drift contours of an electron population, and the corresponding Roederer L-star coordinates are calculated from the magnetic flux through each of these drift contours. The variation of the L-stars over time are calculated from population-specific variables and the Lagrangian magnetic field time derivative along the magnetic isocontours. The radial diffusion coefficients for the 10 MeV electron population are then calculated at each of these L-stars and compared to the literature. This methodology produces radial diffusion coefficients from Vlasiator that have the expected L-shell dependence and are consistent with the literature, including studies based on satellite measurements of radiation belt electrons. These results indicate that this is a valid methodology for the calculation of radial diffusion coefficients, and can therefore be extended to evaluate the radial diffusion coefficients in different solar wind conditions and at more L-stars.

How to cite: George, H., Kilpua, E., Osmane, A., Ganse, U., Lejosne, S., Kalliokoski, M., Turc, L., Battarbee, M., Pfau-Kempf, Y., Bussov, M., Grandin, M., Johlander, A., Suni, J., Dubart, M., Papadakis, K., Alho, M., Zhou, H., and Palmroth, M.: Methodology for calculation of radial diffusion coefficients for a relativistic electron population from hybrid-Vlasov simulation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9850,, 2021.

Christos Katsavrias, Ioannis A. Daglis, Afroditi Nasi, Constantinos Papadimitriou, and Marina Georgiou

Radial diffusion has been established as one of the most important mechanisms contributing the acceleration and loss of relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt. Over the past few years efforts have been devoted to provide empirical relationships of radial diffusion coefficients (DLL) for radiation belt simulations yet several studies have suggested that the difference between the various models can be orders of magnitude different at high levels of geomagnetic activity as the observed DLL have been shown to be highly event-specific. In the frame of SafeSpace project we have used 12 years (2009 – 2020) of multi-point magnetic and electric field measurements from THEMIS A, D and E satellites to create a database of calculated DLL. In this work we present the first statistics on the evolution of DLL during the various phases of Solar cycle 24 with respect to the various solar wind parameters and geomagnetic indices.

This work has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme “SafeSpace” under grant agreement No 870437.

How to cite: Katsavrias, C., Daglis, I. A., Nasi, A., Papadimitriou, C., and Georgiou, M.: Radial diffusion coefficients database in the frame of SafeSpace project, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10563,, 2021.

Adnane Osmane, Mikko Savola, Emilia Kilpua, Hannu Koskinen, Joe Borovsky, and Milla Kalliokoski

We describe the use of information-theoretic methodologies to characterise statistical dependencies of energetic electron fluxes (130 keV and >1 MeV) with a wide range of solar wind and magnetospheric drivers. We focus specifically on drivers associated with radial diffusion processes and revisit the events studied by Rostoker et al. Geophys. Res. Lett. (1998) in terms of mutual information. The main benefit of mutual information, in comparison to the Pearson correlation and other linear measures, lies in the capacity to distinguish nonlinear statistical dependencies from linear ones.  We find that observed enhancement in relativistic electron fluxes correlate weakly, both linearly and nonlinearly, with the ULF power spectrum, whereas less energetic electron fluxes show stronger statistical dependency with both ground and in situ ULF wave power. Our results are indicative of the need to incorporate data analysis tools that can distinguish between interdependencies of various solar wind drivers.

How to cite: Osmane, A., Savola, M., Kilpua, E., Koskinen, H., Borovsky, J., and Kalliokoski, M.: Quantifying the dependence of electron fluxes in the Earth’s radiation belts with radial diffusion drivers through the use of information theory., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11390,, 2021.

Antoine Brunet, Angélica Sicard, Constantinos Papadimitriou, and Didier Lazaro

Electric Orbit Raising (EOR) for telecommunication satellites has allowed significant reduction in onboard fuel mass, at the price of extended transfer durations. These relatively long orbital transfers, which can take up to a few months, equatorially cross most of the radiation belts, resulting in significant exposure of the spacecraft to space radiations. Since there are not covered by many spacecrafts, the radiation environment of intermediate regions of the radiation belts is less known than on popular orbits such as LEO or GEO. In particular, there is a need for more specific models for the MeV energy range proton fluxes, responsible for solar arrays degradations. We present a model of proton fluxes dedicated for EOR missions that was developped as part of the ESA ARTES program. This model is able to estimate the average proton fluxes between 60 keV and 10MeV on arbitrary trajectories on the typical durations of EOR transfers. A global statistical model of the radiation belts was extracted from the Van Allen Probes (RBSP) RBSPICE data and enriched by simulation results from the Salammbô radiation belt model were used. A special care was taken to model the temporal dynamics of the proton belt, allowing to compute analytically the distribution of the average fluxes on arbitrary EOR missions.

How to cite: Brunet, A., Sicard, A., Papadimitriou, C., and Lazaro, D.: A Proton Flux Model Dedicated to Solar Arrays Degradations on Electric Orbit Raising Missions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7342,, 2021.

Richard Boynton, Michael Balikhin, and Hualiang Wei

A real time system is developed to forecast the electron fluxes measured by GOES R spacecraft. Forecast models are developed using the system identification/machine learning methodology based on Nonlinear Autoregressive Moving Average exogenous (NARMAX) models. NARMAX algorithms use past input-output data to automatically deduce a model of the system. Here, the solar wind parameters are used as inputs and the electron fluxes measured by GOES 16 are used as the outputs to deduce the models. The models are then implemented in a real time forecasting system. The forecasting system uses real time solar wind data from ACE, DSCOVR, and ENLIL, which are then processed into the correct format for the NARMAX models to provide a forecast of the electron fluxes at geostationary orbit. 

How to cite: Boynton, R., Balikhin, M., and Wei, H.: A real time forecast of the electron fluxes measured by GOES 16, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5780,, 2021.

Frances Staples, Jonathan Rae, Adam Kellerman, Kyle Murphy, Jasmine Sandhu, and Colin Forsyth

Loss mechanisms act independently or in unison to drive rapid loss of electrons in the radiation belts. Electrons may be lost by precipitation into the Earth’s atmosphere, or through the magnetopause into interplanetary space. Whilst this magnetopause shadowing is well understood to produce dropouts in electron flux, it is less clear if shadowing continues to remove particles in tandem with electron acceleration processes, limiting the overall flux increase. 

We investigate the contribution of shadowing to overall radiation belt fluxes throughout a geomagnetic storm in early September 2017. We use new, multi-spacecraft phase space density calculations to decipher electron dynamics during each storm phase and identify features of magnetopause shadowing during both the net-loss and the net-acceleration storm phases. We also highlight two distinct types of shadowing; ‘Indirect’, where electrons are lost through ULF wave driven radial transport towards the magnetopause boundary, and ‘direct’, where electrons are lost as their orbit intersects the magnetopause. 

How to cite: Staples, F., Rae, J., Kellerman, A., Murphy, K., Sandhu, J., and Forsyth, C.: Magnetopause Shadowing Characteristics in Phase Space Density Measurements, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12599,, 2021.

Stefan Gohl, František Němec, and Michel Parrot

We analyze variations of energetic particle fluxes measured by low altitude spacecraft after interplanetary shock arrivals and around the times of significant geomagnetic storms. Data from two different spacecraft and energetic particle detectors are used and compared. First, we use data measured by the energetic particle detector (IDP) onboard the Detection of Electro-Magnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions (DEMETER) spacecraft. The spacecraft operated between 2004 and 2010 on a circular Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of initially 710 km, which was decreased to 660 km in December 2005. The IDP instrument measured electron flux close to the loss cone at energies between about 70 keV and 2.3 MeV (128 energy channels). Second, we use data measured by the Space Application of Timepix Radiation Monitor (SATRAM) onboard the Proba-V satellite operating since May 2013 on a circular Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 820 km. The semi-conductor based pixelated radiation detector called Timepix is capable of detecting all charged particles and X-rays with sufficiently high energies. Electron energies higher than about 2 MeV and proton energies higher than about 20 MeV are detected. We identify the times of interplanetary shock arrivals and significant (Dst < –100 nT) geomagnetic storms during the mission durations. Then we perform a superposed epoch analysis to reveal characteristic particle flux variations around these times at different energies and L-shells. Although the used satellite missions do not overlap in time, we aim to compare the revealed flux variation signatures between these two independent data sets.

How to cite: Gohl, S., Němec, F., and Parrot, M.: Variations of energetic particle fluxes after interplanetary shock arrivals and around significant geomagnetic storms observed by low altitude spacecraft, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2817,, 2021.

Milla Kalliokoski, Emilia Kilpua, Adnane Osmane, Allison Jaynes, Drew Turner, Harriet George, Lucile Turc, and Minna Palmroth

The energetic electron content in the Van Allen radiation belts surrounding the Earth can vary dramatically on timescales from minutes to days, and these electrons present a hazard for spacecraft traversing the belts. The outer belt response to solar wind driving is however yet largely unpredictable. Here we investigate the driving of the belts by sheath regions preceding interplanetary coronal mass ejections. Electron dynamics in the belts is governed by various competing acceleration, transport and loss processes. We analyzed electron phase space density to compare the energization and loss mechanisms during a geoeffective and a non-geoeffective sheath region. These two case studies indicate that ULF-driven inward and outward radial transport, together with the incursions of the magnetopause, play a key role in causing the outer belt electron flux variations. Chorus waves also likely contribute to energization during the geoeffective event. A global picture of the wave activity is achieved through a chorus proxy utilizing POES measurements. We highlight that also the non-geoeffective sheath presented distinct changes in outer belt electron fluxes, which is also evidenced by our statistical study of outer belt electron fluxes during sheath events. While not as intense as during geoeffective sheaths, significant changes in outer belt electron fluxes occur also during sheaths that do not cause major geomagnetic disturbances.

How to cite: Kalliokoski, M., Kilpua, E., Osmane, A., Jaynes, A., Turner, D., George, H., Turc, L., and Palmroth, M.: Phase space density analysis of outer radiation belt electron energization and loss during geoeffective and non-geoeffective sheath regions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9742,, 2021.

Hayley Allison, Yuri Shprits, Irina Zhelavskaya, Dedong Wang, and Artem Smirnov

Electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts can have energies in excess of 7 MeV. We present a unique way of analyzing phase space density data which demonstrates that local acceleration is capable of heating electrons up to 7 MeV. The Van Allen Probes mission not only provided unique measurements of ultra-relativistic radiation belt electrons, but also simultaneous observations of plasma waves that allowed for the routine inference of total plasma number density. Based on long-term observations, we show that the underlying plasma density has a controlling effect over local acceleration to ultra-relativistic energies, which occurs only when the plasma number density drops down to very low values (~10 cm-3). The VERB-2D model is used to simulate ultra-relativistic electron acceleration during an event which exhibits an extreme cold plasma depletion. The results show that a reduced electron plasma density allows chorus waves to efficiently resonate with electrons up to ultra-relativistic energies, producing enhancements from 100s of keV up to >7 MeV via local diffusive acceleration. We analyse statistically the observed chorus wave power during ultra-relativistic enhancement events, considering the contribution from both upper and lower band chorus waves. The PINE density model allows for the investigation of global magnetospheric density changes. We analyze the how the global cold plasma density changes during ultra-relativistic enhancement events and compare to in-situ point measurements of the plasma density.

How to cite: Allison, H., Shprits, Y., Zhelavskaya, I., Wang, D., and Smirnov, A.: Radiation belt electron acceleration during periods of low plasma density, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10061,, 2021.

Afroditi Nasi, Ioannis A. Daglis, Christos Katsavrias, Ingmar Sandberg, Wen Li, Yoshizumi Miyoshi, Shun Imajo, Takefumi Mitani, Tomo Hori, Satoshi Kasahara, Shoichiro Yokota, Kunihiro Keika, Iku Shinohara, Ayako Matsuoka, and Yoshiya Kasahara

During the second half of 2019, a sequence of solar wind high-speed streams (VSW ≥ 600 km/s)  impacted the magnetosphere, resulting in a series of recurrent, relatively weak, geomagnetic storms (Dstmin ≥ - 80 nT). During one of these storms, a longer-lasting solar wind pressure pulse and intense substorm activity were also recorded (AL ≤ - 1600 nT on August 31 and September 1).

We use particle measurements from the Van Allen Probes, Arase and Galileo 207, 215 satellites, to investigate this event; all spacecraft observed a significant enhancement of relativistic electron fluxes. We also use ULF and chorus wave measurements, as well as interplanetary parameters, for a detailed investigation of this event and of the acceleration mechanisms involved.

This work has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870437 for the SafeSpace project.

How to cite: Nasi, A., Daglis, I. A., Katsavrias, C., Sandberg, I., Li, W., Miyoshi, Y., Imajo, S., Mitani, T., Hori, T., Kasahara, S., Yokota, S., Keika, K., Shinohara, I., Matsuoka, A., and Kasahara, Y.: Coordinated observations of relativistic electron enhancements following an HSS period , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11753,, 2021.

Chairpersons: Sergio Toledo-Redondo, Elena Kronberg, Sarah Vines
Alexander Lukin, Anton Artemyev, and Anatoly Petrukovich

The charged particle resonant interaction with electromagnetic waves propagating in an inhomogeneous plasma determines the dynamics of plasma populations in various space plasma systems, such as shock waves, radiation belts, and plasma injection regions. For systems with small wave amplitudes and a broad wave spectrum, such resonant interaction is well described within a framework of the quasi-linear theory, which is based on the Fokker-Planck diffusion equation. However, in systems with intense waves, this approach is inapplicable, because nonlinear resonant effects (such as phase bunching and phase trapping) and non-diffusive processes play an essential role in the acceleration and scattering of charged particles. In this work we consider a generalized approach for modelling of wave-particle resonant interaction for intense coherent waves. This approach is based on application of stochastic differential equations for simulation resonant scattering and trapping. To test and verify an applicability of this approach, we use a simple model system with high-amplitude electrostatic whistler waves and energetic electrons propagating in the Earth radiation belts. We show that the proper determination of the model parameters allows us to describe the dynamics of the electron distribution function evolutions dominated by nonlinear resonant effects. Moreover, the proposed approach significantly reduces the calculation time in comparison with test particles methods generally used for simulations of nonlinear wave-particle interactions.

How to cite: Lukin, A., Artemyev, A., and Petrukovich, A.: Stochastic differential equations for modeling of nonlinear wave-particle interaction, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6508,, 2021.

Oliver Allanson, Clare Watt, Hayley Allison, and Heather Ratcliffe

Radiation belt numerical models utilize diffusion codes that evolve electron dynamics due to resonant wave-particle interactions. It is not known how to best incorporate electron dynamics in the case of a wave power spectrum that varies considerably on a 'sub-grid' timescale shorter than the computational time-step Δt, particularly if the wave amplitude reaches high values. Timescales associated with the growth rate, γ, of thermal instabilities are very short, and typically Δt>>1/γ. We use a kinetic code to study electron interactions with whistler-mode waves in the presence of a background plasma with thermally anisotropic components, as frequently occur within the magnetosphere. For low values of anisotropy, thermal instabilities are not triggered and we observe similar results to those obtained in Allanson et al. (2020,, for which the diffusion matched the quasilinear theory over short timescales inversely proportional to wave power. For high levels of anisotropy, wave growth via instability is triggered. Dynamics are not well described by the quasilinear theory when calculated using the average wave power. During the growth phase (~0.1s) we observe strong diffusive and advective components, which both saturate as the wave power saturates at ~ 1nT. The advective motions dominate over the diffusive processes. The growth phase facilitates significant transport in electron pitch angle space via successive resonant interactions with waves of different frequencies. This motivates future work on the longer-time impact of very short timescale processes in radiation belt modelling, and on the indirect effects of anisotropic background plasma components on electron scattering. We suggest that this rapid advective transport during nonlinear wave growth phase may have a role to play in the electron microburst mechanism.

[Allanson et al, JGR Space Physics, 2021 (under review)]

How to cite: Allanson, O., Watt, C., Allison, H., and Ratcliffe, H.: Electron pitch angle diffusion and rapid transport/advection during nonlinear interactions with whistler-mode waves, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5398,, 2021.

Oleksiy Agapitov, Didier Mourenas, Anton Artemyev, Aaron Breneman, John Bonnell, George Hospodarsky, and John Wygant

The spatial scales of whistler-mode waves, determined by their generation process, propagation, and damping, are important for assessing the scaling and efficiency of wave-particle interactions affecting the dynamics of the radiation belts. We use multi-point wave measurements in 2013-2019 by two identically equipped Van Allen Probes spacecraft covering all MLTs at L=2-6 near the geomagnetic equator to investigate the spatial extent of active regions of chorus and hiss waves, their wave amplitude distribution in the source/generation region, and the scales of chorus wave packets, employing a time-domain correlation technique to the spacecraft approaches closer than 1000 km, which happened every 70 days in 2012-2018 and every 35 days in 2018-2019. The correlation of chorus wave power dynamics using two spacecraft measurements is found to remain significant up to inter-spacecraft separations of 400 km to 750 km transverse to the background magnetic field direction, consistent with previous estimates of the chorus wave packet extent, but indicating the likely presence of two different scales of about 400 km and 750 km. Our results further suggest that the chorus source region can be slightly asymmetrical, more elongated in either the azimuthal or radial direction, which could also explain the aforementioned two different scales. An analysis of average chorus and hiss wave amplitudes at separate locations similarly reveals different radial and azimuthal extents of the corresponding wave active regions, complementing previous results based on THEMIS spacecraft statistics mainly at larger L>6. Both the chorus source region scale and the chorus active region size appear smaller inside the outer radiation belt (at L< 6) than at higher L-shells.

How to cite: Agapitov, O., Mourenas, D., Artemyev, A., Breneman, A., Bonnell, J., Hospodarsky, G., and Wygant, J.: Chorus and hiss scales in the inner magnetosphere: statistics from high-resolution filter bank (FBK) Van Allen Proves multi-point measurements, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13086,, 2021.

Conjugate pulsating aurora and chorus waves: case study at high temporal resolution 
Shannon Hill, Robert Michell, Marilia Samara, Tuija Pulkkinen, Donald Hampton, John Bonnell, Oleksiy Agapitov, Aaron Breneman, and Sheng Tian
Ilya Kuzichev and Angel Rualdo Soto-Chavez

Whistler-mode chorus waves are one of the most intense wave phenomena in the Earth’s inner magnetosphere. They are considered to be a major driver of the outer radiation belt dynamics, as they can efficiently scatter and energize electrons via resonant wave-particle interaction. These waves are observed as series of discrete coherent structures with rising or falling frequencies in the whistler frequency range (below local electron cyclotron frequency).

Such frequency variation results in a correction to the resonance Hamiltonian which describes particle dynamics in the given wave field. For a monochromatic wave, the effective potential in the resonance Hamiltonian consists of two terms. The first one corresponds to the nonlinear pendulum and describes the direct interaction of a particle with the wave. The second term accounts for plasma inhomogeneity, describing the effects of spatial gradients of plasma and wave parameters on the particle. Frequency chirping contributes to this effective inhomogeneity, producing a correction to this second term. The inhomogeneity term is of particular importance for the trapped particles that remain in resonance with the wave, this term defines their acceleration. And, as spatial inhomogeneity becomes zero at the equator (for dipole magnetic field), the wave frequency variation contribution might be the dominant one close to this region.

In this report, we present the results of test particle simulations of the electron dynamics in the field of a chirped wave. A general curvilinear relativistic code is developed to address the particle dynamics in the wave field, pre-determined from the simplified wave equations. We demonstrate that particle acceleration is affected by the competition between the effective inhomogeneity related to the wave frequency chirping and spatial inhomogeneity of the Earth’s magnetic field.

The work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant No. 1502923. We would like to acknowledge high-performance computing support from Cheyenne (doi:10.5065/D6RX99HX) provided by NCAR’s Computational and Information Systems Laboratory, sponsored by NSF

How to cite: Kuzichev, I. and Soto-Chavez, A. R.: On Resonant Interaction of Electrons with Falling-Tone Chorus Waves, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14307,, 2021.

Pavel Shustov, Anton Artemyev, Alexander Volokitin, Ivan Vasko, Xiao-Jia Zhang, and Anatoliy Petrukovich

Recent spacecraft observations of plasma injections reveal abundance of small-scale nonlinear magnetic structures – sub-ion magnetic holes. These structures contribute to magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling and likely responsible for energetic electron scattering. Sub-ion magnetic holes propagate in plasma of two electron components with very different temperatures. Properties of such holes resemble properties of classical magnetosonic solitary waves propagating across the ambient magnetic field, but observations suggest that these holes do not disturb background ions. This study aims to generalize the linear theory of magnetosonic waves by including two electron components. In analog to the electron acoustic mode, cold electrons can act as ions for the generation of magnetosonic mode waves. This unstable electron magnetosonic mode can explain all properties of sub-ion holes in observations. We suggest that sub-ion holes can form during the nonlinear evolution this electron magnetosonic mode. We consider an adiabatic model for investigation of such nonlinear evolution and electron dynamical response to evolving hole electromagnetic field. This model describes slow formation of sub-ion magnetic holes from low-amplitude limit. The adiabatic electron response to such formation can include both electron colling and heating, for populations with different pitch-angles.

The work was supported by the Russian Scientific Foundation, project 19-12-00313.

How to cite: Shustov, P., Artemyev, A., Volokitin, A., Vasko, I., Zhang, X.-J., and Petrukovich, A.: Sub-ion magnetic holes in the plasma injection region: origins and dynamics, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12877,, 2021.

Benjamin Grison and Ondrej Santolik

Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves usually grow in the inner magnetosphere from hot ion temperature anisotropy. The main source region is located close to the magnetic equator and there is a secondary EMIC source region off the magnetic equator in the dayside magnetosphere. The source region can be identified using measurements of the Poynting vector direction.

The Poynting vector is ideally derived from the measurement of 3 components of the wave electric field and 3 components of components of the wave magnetic field. However, spinning spacecraft often have only two long mutually perpendicular electric antennas in the spin plane, deployed by the centrifugal force. The third antenna, when present, is usually shorter owing to difficulties of deploying a antenna along the spin axis.

Estimations of the Poynting vector from measurements of three magnetic field components and two electric field components can be obtained assuming the presence of a single plane wave (and thus perpendicularity of the electric field and the magnetic field vectors, according to the Faraday’s law), following the method developed by Loto'aniu et al. (2005). Applying this method to Cluster data, Allen et al. (2013) found the presence of bidirectional EMIC emissions off the magnetic equatorial region.

Another technique proposed earlier by Santolík et al. (2001) considers the phase shift estimation between the electric signals from each antenna and synthetic perpendicular magnetic field components obtained from the three-dimensional measurements. The method is based on cross-spectral estimates in the frequency domain and can be used to estimate sign of each component of the Poynting vector. Using this technique Grison et al. (2016) showed the importance of the transverse component of the EMIC emissions far from the source region.

We compare these methods for different events to check how the results of these two techniques differ. We also discuss what we can learn about the EMIC source region from these measurements.

How to cite: Grison, B. and Santolik, O.: Comparison of different techniques to estimate the direction of the Poynting vector of EMIC emissions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7203,, 2021.

Justin Lee, Drew Turner, Sarah Vines, Robert Allen, and Sergio Toledo-Redondo

Although thorough characterization of magnetospheric ion composition is rare for EMIC wave studies, convective processes that occur more frequently in Earth’s outer magnetosphere have allowed the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) satellites to make direct measurements of the cold and hot plasma composition during EMIC wave activity. We will present an observation and linear wave modeling case study conducted on EMIC waves observed during a perturbed activity period in the outer dusk-side magnetosphere. During the two intervals investigated for the case study, the MMS satellites made direct measurements of cold plasmaspheric plasma in addition to multiple hot ion components at the same time as EMIC wave emissions were observed. Applying the in-situ plasma composition data to wave modeling, we find that wave growth rate is impacted by the complex interactions between the cold as well as the hot ion components and ambient plasma conditions. In addition, we observe that linear wave properties (unstable wave numbers and band structure) can significantly evolve with changes in cold and hot ion composition. Although the modeling showed the presence of dense cold ions can broaden the range of unstable wave numbers, consistent with previous work, the hot heavy ions that were more abundant nearer storm main phase could limit the growth of EMIC waves to smaller wave numbers. In the inner magnetosphere, where higher cold ion density is expected, the ring current heavy ions could also be more intense near storm-time, possibly resulting in conditions that limit the interactions of EMIC waves with trapped radiation belt electrons to multi-MeV energies. Additional investigation when direct measurements of cold and hot plasma composition are available could improve understanding of EMIC waves and their interactions with trapped energetic particles in the inner magnetosphere.

How to cite: Lee, J., Turner, D., Vines, S., Allen, R., and Toledo-Redondo, S.: Direct measurements of cold and hot plasma composition and EMIC waves in the outer magnetosphere: Implications for inner magnetosphere wave-particle interactions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-621,, 2021.

Sergio Toledo-Redondo, Justin H. Lee, Sarah K. Vines, Drew L. Turner, Robert C. Allen, Mats André, Scott A. Boardsen, James L. Burch, Richard E. Denton, Huishan Fu, Stephen A. Fuselier, Barbara Giles, Naritoshi Kitamura, Yuri V. Khotyaintsev, Benoit Lavraud, Olivier LeContel, Wenya Li, Enrique A. Navarro, Jorge Portí, and Alfonso Salinas

We report observations of the ion dynamics inside an Alfven branch wave that propagates near the reconnecting dayside magnetopause. The measured frequency, wave normal angle and polarization are within 1% with the predictions of a dispersion solver, and indicate that the wave is an electromagnetic ion cyclotron wave with very oblique wave vector. The magnetospheric plasma contains hot protons (keV), cold protons (eV), plus some heavy ions. The cold protons follow the magnetic field fluctuations and remain frozen-in, while the hot protons are at the limit of magnetization.

The cold proton velocity fluctuations contribute to balance the Hall term in Ohm's law, allowing the wave polarization to be highly-elliptical and right-handed, a necessary condition for propagation at oblique wave normal angles. The dispersion solver indicates that increasing the cold proton density facilitates generation and propagation of these waves at oblique angles, as it occurs for the observed wave.

How to cite: Toledo-Redondo, S., Lee, J. H., Vines, S. K., Turner, D. L., Allen, R. C., André, M., Boardsen, S. A., Burch, J. L., Denton, R. E., Fu, H., Fuselier, S. A., Giles, B., Kitamura, N., Khotyaintsev, Y. V., Lavraud, B., LeContel, O., Li, W., Navarro, E. A., Portí, J., and Salinas, A.: Kinetic interaction of cold and hot protons with an oblique EMIC wave near the dayside reconnecting magnetopause, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7351,, 2021.

The ionospheric source of plasma: effects on the plasmasphere and magnetosphere
Kanako Seki, Masayoshi Takada, Kunihiro Keika, Satoshi Kasahara, Shoichiro Yokota, Tomoaki Hori, Kazushi Asamura, Nana Higashio, Yasunobu Ogawa, Ayako Matsuoka, Mariko Teramoto, Yoshizumi Miyoshi, and Iku Shinohara

Molecular ions usually exist only in the low-altitude (< 300 km) ionosphere and cannot escape to space without a fast ion upflow/outflow to overcome a rapid loss due to dissociative recombination (e.g., Peterson et al., 1994). Thus, molecular ion escape from the terrestrial atmosphere to space can be used as a tracer of effective ion loss from the deep ionosphere. Reports on molecular ion observations in the ring current are limited to some event studies (e.g., Klecker et al., 1986) and their statistical properties are far from understood. Here we report observations by the Arase (ERG) satellite which enables definitive identification of molecular ions (O2+/NO+/N2+) by frequent TOF (time-of-flight) mode observations (Seki et al., 2019) and a simultaneous observation by the EISCAT radar and Arase to investigate the mechanisms to cause the fast upward ion transport in the deep ionosphere (Takada et al., submitted, 2021).

Statistical properties of molecular ions in the ring current are investigated based on ion composition measurements (<180 keV/q) by MEPi and LEPi instruments onboard Arase. The investigated period from late March to December 2017 includes 11 geomagnetic storms with the minimum Dst index less than -40 nT. The molecular ions are observed in association with geomagnetic disturbances with Dst < -30 nT. During quiet times, molecular ions are not observed. The tendency is consistent with previous observations. The molecular ions are observed mainly in the region of L=3.5-6.6 and clearly identified at energies above ~14 keV with molecularto O+ ion energy density ratio of the order of 1 percent. Detection probability of molecular ions in the ring current becomes higher with increasing size of geomagnetic storms (minimum Dst index). Their detection probability also tends to be higher during substorms as well as during high-speed solar wind period. The observation probability of the molecular ions in the ring current is comparable or higher than that in the high-altitude auroral regions, suggesting the importance of the subauroral zone. Existence of molecular ions even during small magnetic storms suggests that the fast ion outflow from the deep ionosphere occurs frequently during geomagnetically active periods. In order to understand the mechanism of the molecular ion supply to the magnetosphere, we will also briefly report on an event study of the ion upflow in the low-altitude (250-350 km) ionosphere observed by EISCAT during the storm main phase on September 8, 2017, when Arase observed molecular ions in the ring current.



  • Klecker et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 13, 632-635, 1986.
  • Peterson et al., J. Geophys. Res., 99, 23257-23274, 1994.
  • Seki et al., Geophys. Re. Lett., 46, doi:10.1029/2019GL084163, 2019.

How to cite: Seki, K., Takada, M., Keika, K., Kasahara, S., Yokota, S., Hori, T., Asamura, K., Higashio, N., Ogawa, Y., Matsuoka, A., Teramoto, M., Miyoshi, Y., and Shinohara, I.: Properties of molecular ions in the ring current and their supply mechanism from the low-altitude ionosphere, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12858,, 2021.

Lynn M. Kistler, Christopher G. Mouikis, Kazushi Asamura, Satoshi Kasahara, Yoshizumi Miyoshi, Kunihiro Keika, Steven M. Petrinic, Tomoaki Hori, Shoichiro Yokota, and Iku Shinohara

The ionospheric and solar wind contributions to the magnetosphere can be distinguished by their composition.  While both sources contain significant H+, the heavy ion species from the ionospheric source are generally singly ionized, while the solar wind consists of highly ionized ions. Both the solar wind and the ionosphere contribute to the plasma sheet.  It has been shown that with both enhanced geomagnetic activity and enhanced solar EUV, the ionospheric contribution, and particularly the ionospheric heavy ions contribution increases.  However, the details of this transition from a solar wind dominated to more ionospheric dominated plasma sheet are not well understood.  An initial study using AMPTE/CHEM data, a data set that includes the full charge state distributions of the major species, shows that the transition can occur quite sharply during storms, with the ionospheric contribution becoming dominant during the storm main phase.  However, during the AMPTE time-period, there were no continuous measurements of the upstream solar wind, and so both the simultaneous solar wind composition and the driving solar wind and IMF parameters were not known.  The HPCA instrument on MMS and both the LEPi and MEPi instruments on Arase are able to measure He++.   With these data sets, the He++/H+ ratio can be compared to the simultaneous He++/H+ ratios in the solar wind to more definitively identify the solar wind contribution to the plasma sheet.  This allows the ionospheric contribution to the H+ population to be determined, so that the full ionospheric population is known. We find that when the IMF turns southward during the storm main phase, the dominant source of the hot plasma sheet becomes ionospheric.  This composition change explains why the storm time ring current also has a high ionospheric contribution.

How to cite: Kistler, L. M., Mouikis, C. G., Asamura, K., Kasahara, S., Miyoshi, Y., Keika, K., Petrinic, S. M., Hori, T., Yokota, S., and Shinohara, I.: The Ionospheric Source of the Plasma Sheet During Storm Main Phase, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13927,, 2021.

Niloufar Nowrouzi, Lynn Kistler, Eric Lund, and Kai Zhao

Sawtooth events are repeated injections of energetic particles at geosynchronous orbit. Although studies have shown that 94% of sawtooth events occur during  magnetic storm times, the main factor that causes a sawtooth event is unknown. Simulations have suggested that heavy ions like O+ may play a role in driving the sawtooth mode by increasing the magnetotail pressure and causing the magnetic tail to stretch. O+ ions located in the nightside auroral region have a direct access to the near-earth plasma-sheet. O+ in the dayside cusp can reach to the midtail plasma-sheet when the convection velocity is sufficiently strong. Whether the dayside or nightside source is more important is not known.

We show results of a statistical study of the variation of the O+ and H+ outflow flux during sawtooth events for SIR and ICME sawtooth events. We perform a superposed epoch analysis of the ion outflow using the TEAMS (Time-of-Flight Energy Angle Mass Spectrograph) instrument on the FAST spacecraft. TEAMS measures the ion composition over the energy range of 1 eV e-1 to 12 keV e-1.  We have done major corrections and calibrations (producing 3D data set, anode calibration, mass classification, removing ram effect and incorporating dead time corrections) on TEAMS data and produced a data set for four data species (H+, O+, and He+). From 1996 to 2007, we have data for 133 orbits of CME-driven and for 103 orbits of SIR-driven sawtooth events with an altitude above 1500 km. We found that:

  • the averaged O+ outflow flux is more intense in the cusp dayside than in the nightside, before and after onset time.
  • Before onset, an intense averaged outflow flux in the dawnside of CME events is seen. This outflow decreases after onset time.
  • In both CME-driven and SIR-driven, the averaged O+ outflow increases after onset time, in the nightside, cusp dayside. This increase is greater on the nightside than in the cusp.

We will develop this study by performing a similar statistical study for H+ outflow and finally will compare the H+ result with the O+ result.

How to cite: Nowrouzi, N., Kistler, L., Lund, E., and Zhao, K.: The Variation of Ionospheric O+ and H+ Outflow during Sawtooth Oscillations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13991,, 2021.

Osuke Saka

We propose ionospheric plasma injections to the magnetosphere (ionospheric injection) as a new plasma process in the polar ionosphere. The ionospheric injection is first triggered by westward electric fields transmitted from the convection surge in the magnetosphere in association with dipolarization onset. Localized westward electric fields yield electrostatic potential in the ionosphere as a result of differing electron and ion mobility in the E-layer. To ensure quasi-neutrality of ionospheric plasmas, excess charges are released as injections out of the ionosphere, specifically electrons from positive potential region in higher latitudes and ions from negative potentials in lower latitudes. Potential difference on the order of 10 kV in north-south directions produces southward electric fields (100mv/m) at the footprint of the convection surge in both northern and southern hemispheres. Resultant geomagnetic field lines are not in equipotential equilibrium during ionospheric injections but instead develop downward electric fields in positive potential regions in higher latitudes to extract electrons and upward electric fields in negative potential regions in lower latitudes to extract ions. Parallel electric fields can exist in the magnetic mirror geometry of auroral field lines if the magnetospheric plasma follows quasi-neutral equilibrium. Because ionospheric injection has inherent dynamo processes as well as load, we term the polar ionosphere “dynamic ionosphere”.

Cold plasmas injected out of the dynamic ionosphere are transported along the dynamical trajectories to the magnetosphere conserving the total energy (including electrostatic potentials) and first adiabatic invariant. Electrons/ions traveling in downward/upward electric fields lose perpendicular and lower velocities in parallel component, leaving only the energetic part of ionospheric plasmas collimated along the field lines. Steady-state and one-dimensional dynamical trajectory shows that ion and electron temperatures at the ionosphere initially at 1 eV increased parallel temperatures to 202 eV and decreased perpendicular temperatures to 0.001 eV at geosynchronous altitudes where the electrostatic potential difference between ionosphere and magnetosphere was assumed to be 200 V. When potential difference increased to 600 V, the parallel temperatures increased to 602 eV, while perpendicular temperatures remain unchanged. Parallel potentials preferentially heated the ionospheric cold plasmas in parallel directions and transported tailward to feed the magnetosphere.

How to cite: Saka, O.: Plasma injections arising out of dynamic ionosphere, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12,, 2021.

Matina Gkioulidou, Shin Ohtani, Don Mitchell, and Harlan Spence

The development of low energy (< keV) O+ ions in the inner magnetosphere is a crucial issue for various aspects of magnetospheric dynamics: i) Recent studies have suggested that low energy O+ can be locally accelerated to few keV energies inside geosynchronous orbit, and thus can constitute a significant source of the storm-time ring current O+ that could dominate the energy density during storms, ii) Mass loaded densities are important for accurate location of the plasmapause, which, in turn, is necessary for meaningful calculation of the field line resonance radial frequency profiles of ULF hydromagnetic waves in plasmasphere, iii) since O+ is only of ionospheric origin, its outflow from ionosphere into the magnetosphere is a manifestation of fundamental processes concerning energy and mass flow within the coupled Magnetosphere – Ionosphere system. Although a lot of progress has been made on O+ outflow at high latitudes and its subsequent transport and acceleration within the magnetotail and plasma sheet, the source of low-energy O+ within the inner magnetosphere remains a compelling open question. The Helium Oxygen Proton and Electron (HOPE) mass spectrometer instrument aboard Van Allen Probes, which move in highly elliptical, low inclination orbits with apogee of 5.8 RE, has repeatedly detected field aligned flux enhancements of eV to hundreds of eV O+ ions, which indicate O+ outflow directly into the inner magnetosphere. We systematically investigate, throughout the duration of the Van Allen Probes mission (2012 – 2019), the occurrence of such events with respect to L and MLT, the dependence of their directionality (bi-directional or unidirectional) and the lowest and highest energies involved on L, MLT and MLAT. We categorize the outflow events with respect to plasmapause location (when its determination is possible) and identify whether there is enhancement of O+ density. This categorization is important because if the outflows occur close to the plasmapause location, and depending on the density enhancement they cause, they could be responsible for the formation of O+ torus, whose source has been under debate for years. Finally, in order to identify the physical processes that lead to the ionospheric outflow, we also examine whether there are dipolarizations and/or enhancements of the field-aligned poynting flux associated with these outflow events.

How to cite: Gkioulidou, M., Ohtani, S., Mitchell, D., and Spence, H.: On the Low Energy (< keV) O+ Ion Outflow directly into the Inner Magnetosphere, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13612,, 2021.

Balázs Heilig, Claudia Stolle, Jan Rauberg, and Guram Kervalishvili

In the past decades researchers have revealed links between a series of sub-auroral ionospheric phenomena and the plasmapause (PP) dynamics, such as the mid-latitude ionospheric trough (MIT) and the associated sub-auroral temperature enhancement (SETE), the light-ion trough (LIT), the sub-auroral ion drift (SAID) or the more intense sub-auroral polarisation stream (SAPS), and most recently, the inner boundary of small-scale field-aligned currents (SSFACs). Most of these phenomena can be directly observed by the Swarm constellation of ESA at LEO. Thus, Swarm presents a unique opportunity to study the relations between them and also their relation to the PP dynamics.

In a recent Swarm DISC project, PRISM (Plasmapause Related boundaries in the topside Ionosphere as derived from Swarm Measurements), three new products have been developed. Two products characterise the MIT (and the associated SETE). The MITx_LP utilises the Langmuir probe measurements of electron density and temperature, while the MITxTEC product derives the MIT properties from GPS TEC observations. The third product, PPIxFAC provides information on the location and the main characteristics of the equatorial boundary of SSFACs, and it also includes a proxy for the location of the PP at MLT midnight.

In this presentation we introduce the above Swarm L2 products, present the results of a comparative study aiming at revealing their mutual relations and also their dynamic coupling to the PP. Then we demonstrate how the observations of all these ionospheric phenomena combined can be used to develop an improved proxy for monitoring the PP dynamics at LEO as one of the goals of our new ESA-funded project PLASMA.

How to cite: Heilig, B., Stolle, C., Rauberg, J., and Kervalishvili, G.: Monitoring the plasmapause dynamics at LEO, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15733,, 2021.

Mats André, Anders I. Eriksson, Yuri V. Khotyaintsev, and Sergio Toledo-Redondo

Wakes behind scientific spacecraft caused by supersonic drifting ions is common in collisionless plasmas. Such wakes change the local plasma conditions and disturb in situ observations of the geophysical plasma parameters. We concentrate on observations of the electric field with double-probe instruments. Sometimes the wake effects are caused by the spacecraft body, are minor and easy to detect, and can be compensated for in a reasonable way. We show an example from the Cluster spacecraft in the solar wind. Sometimes the effects are caused by an electrostatic structure around a positively charged spacecraft causing an enhanced wake and major effects on the local plasma. Here observations of the geophysical electric field with the double-probe technique becomes impossible. Rather, the wake can be used to detect the presence of cold positive ions. Together with other instruments, also the cold ion flux can be estimated. We discuss such examples from the Cluster spacecraft in the magnetospheric lobes. For an intermediate range of parameters, when the drift energy of the ions is comparable to the equivalent charge of the spacecraft, also the charged wire booms of a double-probe instrument must be taken into account to extract useful information from the observations. We show an example from the MMS spacecraft near the magnetopause. With understanding of the physics causing wakes behind spacecraft, the local effects can sometimes be compensated for. When this is not possible, sometimes entirely new geophysical parameters can be estimated. An example is the flux of cold positive ions, constituting a major part of the mass outflow from planet Earth, using electric and magnetic field instruments on a spacecraft charged due to photoionization


How to cite: André, M., Eriksson, A. I., Khotyaintsev, Y. V., and Toledo-Redondo, S.: The spacecraft wake as a tool to detect cold ions: Turning a problem into a feature, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2332,, 2021.

Ivan Zaitsev, Andrey Divin, Vladimir Semenov, Daniil Korovinskiy, Jan Deca, Yuri Khotyaintsev, and Stefano Markidis

Various simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection reveal that the process is typically fast, with the reconnection rate being of the order of 0.1. Systematic numerical and observational studies of upstream parameters dependence (density, magnetic field) concord the basic Sweet-Parker-like predictions that the dynamical properties scale globally with the Alfven speed, with particle heating scaling as the Alfven speed squared. In this study, we perform a set of symmetric 2D PIC simulations starting from Harris current sheet but differ in upstream background plasma ion temperature. The exhaust velocity in such a setup is known to have explicit temperature dependence, leading to a reduction of the jet velocity at high temperatures. We suggest that the global reconnection rate is controlled by this outflow velocity since the reconnection electric field in the quasi-steady stage is the motional (convective) electric field of the ion bulk flow within the exhaust. Consequently, if the upstream thermal speed is above the Alfven velocity, then the reconnection rate drops. On top of that, the electron-ion temperature partition in the exhaust depends strongly on the upstream ion temperature, which we attribute to the scaling in plasma compression and development of the parallel electrostatic potential in the exhaust. 

How to cite: Zaitsev, I., Divin, A., Semenov, V., Korovinskiy, D., Deca, J., Khotyaintsev, Y., and Markidis, S.: On ion temperature dependence of symmetric magnetic reconnection, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13267,, 2021.