Articles | Volume 24, issue 12
21 Dec 2006
 | 21 Dec 2006

Magnetopause energy and mass transfer: results from a global MHD simulation

M. Palmroth, T. V. Laitinen, and T. I. Pulkkinen

Abstract. We use the global MHD model GUMICS-4 to investigate the energy and mass transfer through the magnetopause and towards the closed magnetic field as a response to the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) clock angle θ=arctan (BY/BZ), IMF magnitude, and solar wind dynamic pressure. We find that the mass and energy transfer at the magnetopause are different both in spatial characteristics and in response to changes in the solar wind parameters. The energy transfer follows best the sin2 (θ/2) dependence, although there is more energy transfer after large energy input, and the reconnection line follows the IMF rotation with a delay. There is no clear clock angle dependence in the net mass transfer through the magnetopause, but the mass transfer through the dayside magnetopause and towards the closed field occurs preferably for northward IMF. The energy transfer occurs through areas at the magnetopause that are perpendicular to the subsolar reconnection line. In contrast, the mass transfer occurs consistently along the reconnection line, both through the magnetopause and towards the closed field. Both the energy and mass transfer are enhanced in response to increased solar wind dynamic pressure, while increasing the IMF magnitude does not affect the transfer quantities as much.