Effects of ionospheric oxygen on magnetospheric structure and dynamics
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During geomagnetically active times, ionospheric O + can contribute a significant fraction of the magnetospheric mass and energy densities. The global response of Earth's magnetosphere to the presence of ionospheric oxygen is still largely unknown and impossible to examine fully with in situ , single point satellite measurements. Global magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models provide a picture of this large-scale response to ionospheric outflow. The goal of this dissertation is to examine the behavior and effects of outflowing oxygen in a multi-fluid MHD model by determining (1) how O + outflow from different regions of the ionosphere contributes to plasma sheet populations and (2) the effect of these oxygen populations on convection and global magnetospheric structure. I implement two empirical outflow models at the inner boundary of the recently-developed Multi-Fluid Lyon-Fedder-Mobarry MHD code and examine the response of the model to various outflow conditions. A model based on data from the Akebono spacecraft (Ebihara et al. , 2006) provides a low-energy polar and auroral region outflow, whereas a model based on data from the FAST spacecraft (Strangeway et al. , 2005) provides higher-energy outflow confined to the auroral regions. Using the Akebono model outflow, I show that both centrifugal acceleration and pressure gradients accelerate thermal O+ along the magnetic field into the plasma sheet and downtail into the solar wind. I examine O+ and H + plasma sheet populations for different outflow and solar wind conditions. To account for observed densities, nightside outflows must be augmented by polar wind, cusp outflows, or both. O+ outflow in general, and nightside outflow in particular, loads the plasma sheet with O + , inflating the plasma sheet, increasing the width of the tail and distance to the tail x-line, and reducing cross polar cap potential (CPCP). These effects are shown to relate to the width of the magnetosheath, indicating that the reduction in CPCP may be due to changes in the bow shock and magnetosheath that divert the solar wind around the magnetosphere. Finally, I show that during a realistic substorm simulation, the timing and strength of substorms are changed by a global O + outflow.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston UniversityPLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.