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Investigation of storm time magnetotail and ion injection using three-dimensional global hybrid simulation


Lin, Y.
Wang, X. Y.
Lu, S.
Perez, J. D.
Lu, Q.


Dynamics of the near-Earth magnetotail associated with substorms during a period of extended southward interplanetary magnetic field is studied using a three-dimensional (3-D) global hybrid simulation model that includes both the dayside and nightside magnetosphere, for the first time, with physics from the ion kinetic to the global Alfvenic convection scales. It is found that the dayside reconnection leads to the penetration of the dawn-dusk electric field through the magnetopause and thus a thinning of the plasma sheet, followed by the magnetotail reconnection with 3-D, multiple flux ropes. Ion kinetic physics is found to play important roles in the magnetotail dynamics, which leads to the following results: (1) Hall electric fields in the thin current layer cause a systematic dawnward ion drift motion and thus a dawn-dusk asymmetry of the plasma sheet with a higher (lower) density on the dawnside (duskside). Correspondingly, more reconnection occurs on the duskside. Bidirectional fast ions are generated due to acceleration in reconnection, and more high-speed earthward flow injections are found on the duskside than the dawnside. Such finding of the dawn-dusk asymmetry is consistent with recent satellite observations. (2) The injected ions undergo the magnetic gradient and curvature drift in the dipole-like field, forming a ring current. (3) Ion particle distributions reveal multiple populations/beams at various distances in the tail. (4) Dipolarization of the tail magnetic field takes place due to the pileup of the injected magnetic fluxes and thermal pressure of injected ions, where the fast earthward flow is stopped. Oscillation of the dipolarization front is developed at the fast-flow braking, predominantly on the dawnside. (5) Kinetic compressional wave turbulence is present around the dipolarization front. The cross-tail currents break into small-scale structures with where is the perpendicular wave number. A sharp dip of magnetic field strength is seen just in front of the sharp rise of the magnetic field at the dipolarization front, mainly on the duskside. (6) A shear flow-type instability is found on the duskside flank of the ring current plasma, whereas a kinetic ballooning instability appears on the dawnside. (7) Shear Alfvenic waves and compressional waves are generated from the tail reconnection, and they evolve into kinetic Alfvn waves in the dipole-like field region. Correspondingly, multiple field-aligned current filaments are generated above the auroral ionosphere.