Efficacy of Electric Field Models in Reproducing Observed Ring Current Ion Spectra During Two Geomagnetic Storms

A. M. Menz, L. M. Kistler, C. G. Mouikis, H. Matsui, H. E. Spence, S. A. Thaller, J. R. Wygant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We use the UNH-IMEF, Weimer 1996, https://doi.org/10.1029/96GL02255 and Volland-Stern electric field models along with a dipole magnetic field to calculate drift paths for particles that reach the Van Allen Probes' orbit for two inbound passes during two large geomagnetic storms. We compare the particle access in the models with the observed particle access using both realistic and enhanced solar wind model parameters. To test the accuracy of the drift paths, we estimate the H+ charge exchange loss along these drift paths. While increasing the strength of the model electric field drives particles further inward, improving agreement, energy-dependent cutoffs in the spectra do not agree, indicating that potential patterns for highly disturbed times are inaccurate. While none of the models were able to reproduce the observed features of the more dawnward pass during the 17 March 2013 storm, the UNH-IMEF model with enhanced inputs was able to adequately reproduce the access, charge exchange loss, and H+ particle pressure during the 17 March 2015 storm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8974-8991
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume124
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

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