Transport and loss of the inner plasma sheet electrons: THEMIS observations

S. Kurita, Y. Miyoshi, F. Tsuchiya, Y. Nishimura, T. Hori, Y. Miyashita, T. Takada, A. Morioka, V. Angelopoulos, J. P. McFadden, H. U. Auster, J. M. Albert, V. Jordanova, H. Misawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using the electron data from the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft measurements from 2007 to 2009, we derived global phase space density (PSD) distributions of plasma sheet electrons (2-100 eV/nT) to examine the transport process of the electrons to the inner magnetosphere and possible loss mechanisms of plasma sheet electrons during the convective transport. The inner boundaries of the electron plasma sheet were determined by the observed global distributions and compared with the Alfvén boundaries that were calculated by the sum of the simple corotation and convection electric field models. This comparison confirms the previous results that the large-scale convection electric field controls the electron transport to the inner magnetosphere. The gradual decrease in PSD is observed from the dawn to the dayside sector, indicating the existence of some loss mechanisms in the morning sector. The loss time scales estimated from the PSD distributions were compared with the theoretical ones based on the quasi-linear diffusion theory using an empirical wave model of whistler mode chorus. We also estimated the required wave amplitudes that can explain the estimated loss time scales. It is shown that whistler mode chorus has a sufficient power to scatter the plasma sheet electrons, and the required wave amplitudes are roughly consistent with the CRRES statistical survey of the chorus wave amplitude. We suggest that the loss of plasma sheet electrons in the morning sector is mainly induced by pitch angle scattering by whistler mode chorus.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA03201
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume116
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics

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