A strongly energy-dependent ring current ion loss was measured by the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE) instrument on the Van Allen Probes A spacecraft in the local evening sector during the 17 March 2015 geomagnetic storm. The ion loss is found to be energy dependent where only ions with energies measured above ∼ 150 keV have a significant drop in intensity. At these energies the ion dynamics are principally controlled by variations of the geomagnetic field which, during magnetic storms, exhibits large-scale variations on time scales from minutes to hours. Here we show that starting from ∼19:10 UTC on 17 March the geomagnetic field increased from 220 to 260 nT on a time scale of about an hour as captured by RBSPICE-A close to spacecraft apogee, L = 6.1 and magnetic local time (MLT) = 21.85 h (GSM coordinates X =− 4.89, Y = 3.00, and Z =− 0.73). We demonstrate the relationship between this large geomagnetic field increase and the dropouts of the ≳ 150 keV ring current ions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science
- inner magnetosphere
- magnetic storms
- ring current ion