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LWS TR&T Focus Teams:

Effects of Ionospheric-Magnetospheric Plasma Redistribution on Storms

Team Chair: William Lotko
Next Team Meeting: August 1-2, 2007 at HAO

Team-Maintained Web Site:
Team Publications:
Team Members:

  • Foster, John
  • Horwitz, James
  • Jordanova, Vania
  • Kistler, Lynn
  • Moore, Thomas
  • Strangeway, Robert

Target Description: Large-scale redistribution and restructuring of the ionosphere by storm-induced electric fields promotes massive ion flows into the magnetosphere. An enhanced polar wind, heavy-ion accelerations from the low-altitude cusp and auroral regions, and convective entrainment of an eroding plasmasphere are all consequences of large-scale ionospheric changes that are especially prevalent during intense storms. Magnetospherically entrained ionospheric ions populate the plasmasheet and ring current, modify magnetospheric convection and current systems, and, thereby, couple back into ionospheric plasma electrodynamics. Quantitative understanding of the effects of stormtime ionospheric restructuring on the magnetosphere, and how this feedback evolves with time, is needed to develop forecast-quality models of near-Earth space weather.

Goals and measures of success: The goal for this topic is to establish how the magnetospheric uptake of ionospheric plasma during storms changes as a result of plasma restructuring, and how this uptake influences the dynamics and coupling of the magnetosphere and ionosphere, with emphasis on the plasma and geomagnetic field conditions of the inner magnetosphere and the evolution of the ionospheric conductance, temperature and densities. Measures of success include the identification of principal mechanistic features and quantitative assessment of their impacts over the range of stormtime conditions and solar wind and IMF drivers.

Types of solicited investigations: Team efforts optimally would encompass complementary theoretical analysis, observational and empirical approaches, both ground-based and in situ, and large-scale modeling of the ionosphere and magnetosphere. Nonexclusive topics of interest include: specification and forecasting of plasmasheet and ring current ion composition, energy, and distribution for stormtime solar, ionospheric, and magnetospheric conditions; distribution and rate of magnetospheric intake of ionospheric and plasmaspheric ions during storm conditions; impacts of stormtime ionospheric plasma redistribution on magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling; and energization, transport and loss of ionospheric ions in the magnetosphere.



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