Articles | Volume 31, issue 6
Regular paper
11 Jun 2013
Regular paper |  | 11 Jun 2013

A statistical study on O+ flux in the dayside magnetosheath

R. Slapak, H. Nilsson, and L. G. Westerberg

Abstract. Studies on terrestrial oxygen ion (O+) escape into the interplanetary space have considered a number of different escape paths. Recent observations however suggest a yet insufficiently investigated additional escape route for hot O+: along open magnetic field lines in the high altitude cusp and mantle. Here we present a statistical study on O+ flux in the high-latitude dayside magnetosheath. The O+ is generally seen relatively close to the magnetopause, consistent with observations of O+ flowing primarily tangentially to the magnetopause. We estimate the total escape flux in this region to be ~ 7 × 1024 s−1, implying this escape route to significantly contribute to the overall total O+ loss into interplanetary space.