Articles | Volume 21, issue 9
Ann. Geophys., 21, 1965–1973, 2003

Special issue: Complexity in the Earth's Magnetospheric Dynamics

Ann. Geophys., 21, 1965–1973, 2003

  30 Sep 2003

30 Sep 2003

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

A. Taktakishvili1, A. Greco2, G. Zimbardo2, P. Veltri2, G. Cimino2, L. Zelenyi3, and R. E. Lopez4 A. Taktakishvili et al.
  • 1Center for Plasma Astrophysics, Abastumani Observatory, 2a A.Kazbegi str., 380060 Tbilisi, Georgia
  • 2Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita della Calabria, I-87030, Arcavacata di Rende, Italy
  • 3Space Research Institute (IKI), 84/32 Profsoiuznaya str., 117810, Moscow, Russia
  • 4The University of Texas at El Paso, 79968, El Paso, TX, USA

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)