Solar Rotation Period Driven Modulations of Plasmaspheric Density and Convective Electric Field in the Inner Magnetosphere

S. A. Thaller, J. R. Wygant, C. A. Cattell, A. W. Breneman, E. Tyler, S. Tian, A. Engel, S. De Pascuale, W. S. Kurth, C. A. Kletzing, J. Tears, David M. Malaspina

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Abstract

This paper presents the first analysis of Van Allen Probes measurements of the cold plasma density and electric field in the inner magnetosphere to show that intervals of strong modulation at the solar rotation period occur in the locations of the outer plasmasphere and plasmapause (~0.7 R E peak-to-peak), in the large-scale electric field (~0.24 mV/m peak-to-peak), and in the cold plasma density (~250 to ~70 cm −3 peak-to-peak). Solar rotation modulation of the inner magnetosphere is more apparent in the declining phase of the solar cycle than near solar maximum. The periodicities in these parameters are compared to solar extreme ultraviolet irradiance, solar wind dawn-dusk electric field, and Kp. The variations in the plasmapause location at the solar rotation period anticorrelate with solar wind electric field, magnetospheric electric field, and Kp, but not with extreme ultraviolet irradiance, indicating that convective erosion is the dominant physical process controlling the plasmapause at these timescales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1726-1737
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume124
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • convection electric field
  • inner magnetosphere
  • plasmapause
  • plasmasphere
  • solar rotation

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