RCM-E simulation of bimodal transport in the plasma sheet
Wolf, Richard A.
Toffoletto, Frank R.
Plasma sheet transport is bimodal, consisting of both large-scale adiabatic convection and intermittent bursty flows in both earthward and tailward directions. We present two comparison simulations with the Rice Convection Model-Equilibrium (RCM-E) to investigate how those high-speed flows affect the average configuration of the magnetosphere and its coupling to the ionosphere. One simulation represents pure large-scale slow-flow convection with time-independent boundary conditions; in addition to the background convection, the other simulation randomly imposes bubbles and blobs through the tailward boundary to a degree consistent with observed statistical properties of flows. Our results show that the bursty flows can significantly alter the magnetic and entropy profiles in the plasma sheet as well as the field-aligned current distributions in the ionosphere, bringing them into much better agreement with average observations.