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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.

  02 Jun 2020

02 Jun 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Vlasov simulation of electrons in the context of hybrid global models: A Vlasiator approach

Markus Battarbee1, Thiago Brito1, Markku Alho1, Yann Pfau-Kempf1, Maxime Grandin1, Urs Ganse1, Konstantinos Papadakis1, Andreas Johlander1, Lucile Turc1, Maxime Dubart1, and Minna Palmroth1,2 Markus Battarbee et al.
  • 1Space research group, Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Modern investigations of dynamical space plasma systems such as magnetically complicated topologies within the Earth's magnetosphere make great use of supercomputer models as well as spacecraft observations. Space plasma simulations can be used to investigate energy transfer, acceleration, and plasma flows on both global and local scales. Simulation of global magnetospheric dynamics requires spatial and temporal scales achievable through magnetohydrodynamics or hybrid-kinetic simulations, which approximate electron dynamics as a charge-neutralizing fluid.

We introduce a novel method for Vlasov-simulating electrons in the context of a hybrid-kinetic framework in order to examine the energization processes of magnetospheric electrons. Our extension of the Vlasiator hybrid-Vlasov code utilizes the global simulation dynamics of the hybrid method whilst modelling snapshots of electron dynamics on global spatial scales and temporal scales suitable for electron physics. Our model is shown to be stable both for single-cell and small-scale domains, and the solver successfully models Langmuir waves and Bernstein modes. We simulate a small test-case section of the near-Earth magnetotail plasma sheet region, reproducing a number of electron distribution function features found in spacecraft measurements.

Markus Battarbee et al.

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Markus Battarbee et al.

Model code and software

Vlasiator: hybrid-Vlasov simulation code M. Palmroth and the Vlasiator team

Markus Battarbee et al.


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Latest update: 21 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We investigate local acceleration dynamics of electrons with a new numerical simulation method, which is an extension of a world-leading kinetic plasma simulation. We describe how large supercomputer simulations can be used to initialize the electron simulations, and show numerical stability for the electron method. We briefly show that features of our simulated electrons match observations from Earth's magnetic tail region.
We investigate local acceleration dynamics of electrons with a new numerical simulation method,...