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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: regular paper 18 Mar 2020

Submitted as: regular paper | 18 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Asymmetries in the Earth's dayside magnetosheath: results from global hybrid-Vlasov simulations

Lucile Turc1, Vertti Tarvus1, Andrew Dimmock2, Markus Battarbee1, Urs Ganse1, Andreas Johlander1, Maxime Grandin1, Yann Pfau-Kempf1, Maxime Dubart1, and Minna Palmroth1,3 Lucile Turc et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2IRF-U, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Bounded by the bow shock and the magnetopause, the magnetosheath forms the interface between solar wind and magnetospheric plasmas and regulates solar wind-magnetosphere coupling. Previous works have revealed pronounced dawn-dusk asymmetries in the magnetosheath properties. The dependence of these asymmetries on the upstream parameters remains however largely unknown. One of the main sources of these asymmetries is the bow shock configuration, which is typically quasi-parallel on the dawn side and quasi-perpendicular on the dusk side of the terrestrial magnetosheath because of the Parker spiral orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) at Earth. Most of these previous studies rely on collections of spacecraft measurements associated with a wide range of upstream conditions which are processed in order to obtain average values of the magnetosheath parameters. In this work, we use a different approach and quantify the magnetosheath asymmetries in global hybrid-Vlasov simulations performed with the Vlasiator model. We concentrate on three parameters: the magnetic field strength, the plasma density and the flow velocity. We find that the Vlasiator model reproduces accurately the polarity of the asymmetries, but that their level tends to be higher than in spacecraft measurements, probably because the magnetosheath parameters are obtained from a single set of upstream conditions in the simulation, making the asymmetries more prominent. We investigate how the asymmetries change when the angle between the IMF and the Sun-Earth line is reduced and when the Alfven Mach number decreases. We find that a more radial IMF results in a stronger magnetic field asymmetry and a larger variability of the magnetosheath density. In contrast, a lower Alfven Mach number leads to a reduced magnetic field asymmetry and a decrease in the variability of the magnetosheath density and velocity, the latter likely due to weaker foreshock processes. Our results highlight the strong impact of the foreshock on global magnetosheath properties, in particular on the magnetosheath density, which is extremely sensitive to transient foreshock processes.

Lucile Turc et al.

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Lucile Turc et al.

Lucile Turc et al.


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