The magnetospheric trough

M. F. Thomsen, D. J. McComas, J. E. Borovsky, R. C. Elphic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

We review the history of the concepts of the magnetospheric cold-ion trough and hot-electron trough and conclude that the two regions are actually essentially the same. The magnetospheric trough may be viewed as a temporal state in the evolution of convecting flux tubes. These flux tubes are in contact with the earth’s upper atmosphere, which acts both as a sink for precipitating hot plasma-sheet electrons and as a source for the cold ionospheric plasma, leading to progressive depletion of the plasma sheet and refilling with cold plasma. Geosynchronous plasma observations show that the rate of loss of plasma-sheet electron energy density is commensurate with the precipitating electron flux at the low-latitude edge of the diffuse aurorae. The rate at which geosynchronous flux tubes fill with cold ionospheric plasma is found to be consistent with previous estimates of early-time refilling. Geosynchronous observations further indicate that both Coulomb collisions and wave-particle effects probably play a role in trapping ionospheric material in the magnetosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeospace Mass and Energy Flow
Subtitle of host publicationResults From the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics Program, 1998
EditorsJames L. Horwitz, William K. Peterson, Dennis L. Gallagher
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd.
Pages355-369
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118664162
ISBN (Print)9780875900872
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
Volume104
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics

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  • Cite this

    Thomsen, M. F., McComas, D. J., Borovsky, J. E., & Elphic, R. C. (1998). The magnetospheric trough. In J. L. Horwitz, W. K. Peterson, & D. L. Gallagher (Eds.), Geospace Mass and Energy Flow: Results From the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics Program, 1998 (pp. 355-369). (Geophysical Monograph Series; Vol. 104). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. https://doi.org/10.1029/GM104p0355