Circulation of Heavy Ions and Their Dynamical Effects in the Magnetosphere: Recent Observations and Models

Elena A. Kronberg, Maha Ashour-Abdalla, Iannis Dandouras, Dominique C. Delcourt, Elena E. Grigorenko, Lynn M. Kistler, Ilya V. Kuzichev, Jing Liao, Romain Maggiolo, Helmi V. Malova, Ksenia G. Orlova, Vahe Peroomian, David R. Shklyar, Yuri Y. Shprits, Daniel T. Welling, Lev M. Zelenyi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations

Abstract

Knowledge of the ion composition in the near-Earth’s magnetosphere and plasma sheet is essential for the understanding of magnetospheric processes and instabilities. The presence of heavy ions of ionospheric origin in the magnetosphere, in particular oxygen (O+), influences the plasma sheet bulk properties, current sheet (CS) thickness and its structure. It affects reconnection rates and the formation of Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. This has profound consequences for the global magnetospheric dynamics, including geomagnetic storms and substorm-like events. The formation and demise of the ring current and the radiation belts are also dependent on the presence of heavy ions. In this review we cover recent advances in observations and models of the circulation of heavy ions in the magnetosphere, considering sources, transport, acceleration, bulk properties, and the influence on the magnetospheric dynamics. We identify important open questions and promising avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-235
Number of pages63
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Volume184
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 19 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Heavy ions
  • Ion acceleration
  • Ion outflow
  • Magnetospheric dynamics
  • Plasma sheet

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