Dispersive Alfvén Wave Control of O+ Ion Outflow and Energy Densities in the Inner Magnetosphere

A. J. Hull, C. C. Chaston, J. W. Bonnell, J. R. Wygant, C. A. Kletzing, G. D. Reeves, A. Gerrard

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The relationship between dispersive Alfvén waves (DAWs), magnetospheric activity, and O+ ion outflow/energy density is examined using measurements from the Van Allen Probes. We show that correlated DAW activity and O+ outflow/energization is a characteristic feature of the inner magnetosphere during active conditions and during storms persists for several hours over large L-shell and azimuthal ranges of the plasma sheet. Though enhanced during substorm and storm active periods, these correlated features are most intense during geomagnetic storms. Comparisons show a linear relationship between DAW electric (and magnetic) field energy density and outflowing O+ energy. Statistical measurements from a large number of storms also reveal a linear relationship between DAW energy density and gross enhancements in energetic O+ energy densities. These observations support the notion that DAWs play an important role in the energization of O+ ions into and within the inner magnetosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8597-8606
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 16 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • dispersive Alfven waves
  • geomagnetic storms
  • inner magnetosphere
  • ion outflow
  • oxygen ions
  • substorms


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