Articles | Volume 21, issue 9
30 Sep 2003
 | 30 Sep 2003

The penetration of ions into the magnetosphere through the magnetopause turbulent current sheet

A. Taktakishvili, A. Greco, G. Zimbardo, P. Veltri, G. Cimino, L. Zelenyi, and R. E. Lopez

Abstract. This paper reports the results of numerical modeling of magnetosheath ion motion in the magnetopause current sheet (MCS) in the presence of magnetic fluctuations. Our model of magnetic field turbulence has a power law spectrum in the wave vector space, reaches maximum intensity in the center of MCS, and decreases towards the magnetosheath and magnetosphere boundaries. We calculated the density profile across the MCS. We also calculated the number of particles entering the magnetosphere, reflected from the magnetopause and escaping from the flanks, as a function of the fluctuation level of the turbulence and magnetic field shear parameter. All of these quantities appeared to be strongly dependent on the fluctuation level, but not on the magnetic field shear parameter. For the highest fluctuation levels the number of particles entering the magnetosphere does not exceed 15% of the total number of particles launched from the magnetosheath side of the MCS; the modeling also reproduced the effective reflection of the magnetosheath flow from very high levels of magnetic fluctuations.

Key words. Magnetospheric physics (magnetosheath; magnetospheric configuration and dynamics; turbulence)