Hot and cold ion outflow: Spatial distribution of ion heating
2012 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 117, no 11, A11201- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Ions apparently emanating from the same source, the ionospheric polar cap, can either end up as energized to keV energies in the high-altitude cusp/mantle, or appear as cold ions in the magnetotail lobes. We use Cluster observations of ions and wave electric fields to study the spatial variation of ion heating in the cusp/mantle and polar cap. The average flow direction in a simplified cylindrical coordinate system is used to show approximate average ion flight trajectories, and discuss the temperatures, fluxes and wave activity along some typical trajectories. It is found that it is suitable to distinguish between cusp, central and nightside polar cap ion outflow trajectories, though O + heating is mainly a function of altitude. Furthermore we use typical cold ion parallel velocities and the observed average perpendicular drift to obtain average cold ion flight trajectories. The data show that the cusp is the main source of oxygen ion outflow, whereas a polar cap source would be consistent with our average outflow paths for cold ions observed in the lobes. A majority of the cusp O + flux is sufficiently accelerated to escape into interplanetary space. A scenario with significant oxygen ion heating in regions with strong magnetosheath origin ion fluxes, cold proton plasma dominating at altitudes below about 8 R E in the polar cap, and most of the cusp oxygen outflow overcoming gravity and flowing out in the cusp and mantle is consistent with our observations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 117, no 11, A11201- p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-186184DOI: 10.1029/2012JA017974ISI: 000310683100002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-186184DiVA: diva2:572863