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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 5
Ann. Geophys., 12, 422–430, 1994
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-994-0422-8
© European Geosciences Union 1994
Ann. Geophys., 12, 422–430, 1994
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-994-0422-8
© European Geosciences Union 1994

  30 Apr 1994

30 Apr 1994

On the role of collective interactions in asymmetric ring current formation

P. A. Bespalov, A. G. Demekhov, A. Grafe, and V. Yu. Trakhtengerts P. A. Bespalov et al.

Abstract. The contribution of resonant wave-particle interactions to the formation and decay of the magnetospheric ring current is analysed in the framework of a self-consistent set of equations which take into account azimuthal plasmasphere asymmetry. It is shown that the cyclotron interaction of westward drifting energetic protons with Alfven waves in the evening-side plasmaspheric bulge region leads to the formation of a ring current asymmetry located near 18:00 MLT. The time-scale of this asymmetry is determined by the proton drift time through the plasmaspheric bulge and is about 1 - 3 h. A symmetrical ring current decays mainly due to charge exchange processes. The theory is compared with known experimental data on ions and waves in the ring current and on low-latitude magnetic disturbances. New low-latitude magnetometer data on the magnetic storm of 24 - 26 July 1986 are also discussed. The model presented explains the observed localization of an asymmetrical ring current loop in the evening sector and the difference in relaxation time-scales of the asymmetry and the Dst index. It also explains measured wave turbulence levels in the evening-side plasmasphere and wave observation statistics.

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