Modeling ring current proton precipitation by electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves during the May 14-16, 1997, storm


We study mechanisms contributing to proton precipitation from the ring current during the May 14–16, 1997, geomagnetic storm. This storm was caused partly by Bz< 0 fields in the sheath region behind an interplanetary shock and partly by the magnetic cloud driving the shock. The storm was characterized by a maximum Kp=7− and a minimum Dst=−115 nT and had a distinctive two-phase decay related to the passage of the ejection at the Earth. We model the ring current development caused by adiabatic drifts and losses due to charge exchange, Coulomb collisions, wave-particle interactions, and atmospheric collisions at low altitudes. The nightside magnetospheric inflow is simulated using geosynchronous Los Alamos National Laboratory data, whereas the dayside free outflow corresponds to losses through the dayside magnetopause. We calculate the equatorial growth rate of electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves with frequencies between the oxygen and helium gyrofrequencies and their integrated wave gain as the storm progresses. The regions of maximum wave amplification compare reasonably well to satellite observations. A time-dependent global wave model is constructed, and the spatial and temporal evolution of precipitating proton fluxes during different storm phases is determined. We find that the global patterns of proton precipitation are very dynamic: located at larger L shells during prestorm conditions, moving to lower L shells as geomagnetic activity increases during storm main phase, and receding back toward larger L shells with storm recovery. However, the most intense fluxes are observed along the duskside plasmapause during the main and early recovery phase of the storm and are caused by plasma wave scattering. This study is relevant to the analysis of the anticipated new data sets from the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) and Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics Dynamics (TIMED) missions.

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JGR: Space Physics



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