Oxygen and hydrogen ion abundance in the near-Earth magnetosphere: Statistical results on the response to the geomagnetic and solar wind activity conditions

Academic Article


  • The composition of ions plays a crucial role for the fundamental plasma properties in the terrestrial magnetosphere. We investigate the oxygen‐to‐hydrogen ratio in the near‐Earth magnetosphere from −10 REXGSE < 10 RE. The results are based on seven years of ion flux measurements in the energy range ∼10 keV to ∼955 keV from the RAPID and CIS instruments on board the Cluster satellites. We find that (1) hydrogen ions at ∼10 keV show only a slight correlation with the geomagnetic conditions and interplanetary magnetic field changes. They are best correlated with the solar wind dynamic pressure and density, which is an expected effect of the magnetospheric compression; (2) ∼10 keV O+ ion intensities are more strongly affected during disturbed phase of a geomagnetic storm or substorm than >274 keV O+ ion intensities, relative to the corresponding hydrogen intensities; (3) In contrast to ∼10 keV ions, the >274 keV O+ions show the strongest acceleration during growth phase and not during the expansion phase itself. This suggests a connection between the energy input to the magnetosphere and the effective energization of energetic ions during growth phase; (4) The ratio between quiet and disturbed times for the intensities of ion ionospheric outflow is similar to those observed in the near‐Earth magnetosphere at >274 keV. Therefore, the increase of the energetic ion intensity during disturbed time is likely due to the intensification and the effective acceleration of the ionospheric source. In conclusion, the energization process in the near‐Earth magnetosphere is mass dependent and it is more effective for the heavier ions.
  • Authors

  • Kronberg, EA
  • Haaland, SE
  • Daly, PW
  • Grigorenko, EE
  • Kistler, Lynn
  • Fraenz, M
  • Dandouras, I
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • December 8, 2012
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • n/a
  • End Page

  • n/a
  • Volume

  • 117
  • Issue

  • A12