HAO Colloquium - Frank Toffoletto, Rice University

The Effects of Plasma-Sheet Bubbles on the Inner Magnetosphere

Over the past few years, it has been widely accepted that reduced field-line entropy flux tubes, also known as flow bursts, play a critical role in the earthward transport from the magnetotail. Although a majority of these structures stop at ~10 Re in the nightside, injection events in the inner magnetosphere, some as deep as 3 Re, have also been discovered. These deep injections often produce complex and profound consequences, including ring current enhancement, radiation belt seed population injections, ULF buoyancy waves, plasmaspheric resonances excited by waves in the Pi2 range, etc. The presentation will review our efforts in quantitatively understanding the effects of plasma-sheet bubble injections when they impinge the near-Earth magnetosphere and I will describe preliminary results from recently developed version of the Rice Convection Model, called RCM-I that includes the inertial effects associated with buoyancy/interchange motions. This new code can produce buoyancy oscillations in its treatment of particle injections, while maintaining the traditional RCM capabilities for including gradient-curvature drift transport of magnetospheric particles and high-resolution coupling to the ionosphere. The accompanying figure shows output from the RCM-I of the equatorial view of flux tube entropy, showing a low-entropy bubble moving towards the Earth and the associated flow vectors. Also, I will briefly describe recent work on ideal-MHD solutions for buoyancy oscillations have been derived for the magnetosphere.


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Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm