The ion-to-electron temperature ratio is a good indicator of the processes involved in solar wind plasma entering and being transported inside Earth’s plasma sheet. In this study, we have demonstrated that patchy magnetic reconnection has the potential to preserve the ion-to-electron temperature ratio under certain conditions. If the charged particles are non-adiabatically accelerated no more than once in a single reconnection, the temperature ratio would be preserved; on the other hand, this ratio would not be preserved if they are accelerated multiple times. Consequently, under a northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) condition, the reconnection in the nonlinear phase of the Kelvin–Helmholtz instability is the dominant process for solar-originated plasma entering the Earth’s magnetosphere, and the ion-to-electron temperature ratio is preserved inside the plasma sheet. When the direction of the IMF is southward, the reflection of electrons from the magnetic mirror point, and subsequent multiple non-adiabatic accelerations at the reconnection site, are the primary reasons for the observed low ion-to-electron temperature ratio close to the Earth at midnight. While reconnections that occur in the night-side far tail might preserve the ratio, turbulence on the boundaries of the bursty bulk flows (BBFs) could change the ratio in the far tail through the violation of the frozen-in condition of the ions. The plateau in the contour of the calculated ion-to-electron temperature ratio in the down tail distance between 40 and 60 Earth radii may explain the strong correlation between the ion and electron temperatures in the outer central plasma sheet, which has not been clearly understood till date.
This paper briefly reviews ionospheric irregularities that occur in the E and F regions at mid-latitudes. Sporadic E (ES) is a common ionospheric irregularity phenomenon that is first noticed in the E layer. ES mainly appears during daytime in summer hemispheres, and is formed primarily from neutral wind shear in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region. Field-aligned irregularity (FAI) in the E region is also observed by Very High Frequency (VHF) radar in mid-latitude regions. FAI frequently occurs after sunset in summer hemispheres, and spectrum features of E region FAI echoes suggest that type-2 irregularity is dominant in the nighttime ionosphere. A close relationship between ES and E region FAI implies that ES may be a possible source of E region FAI in the nighttime ionosphere. Strong neutral wind shear, steep ES plasma density gradient, and a polarized electric field are the significant factors affecting the formation of E region FAI. At mid-latitudes, joint observational experiments including ionosonde, VHF radar, Global Positioning System (GPS) stations, and all-sky optical images have revealed strong connections across different scales of ionospheric irregularities in the nighttime F region, such as spread F (SF), medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MSTID), and F region FAI. Observations suggest that different scales of ionospheric irregularities are generally attributed to the Perkins instability and subsequently excited gradient drift instability. Nighttime MSTID can further evolve into small-scale structures through a nonlinear cascade process when a steep plasma density gradient exists at the bottom of the F region. In addition, the effect of ionospheric electrodynamic coupling processes, including ionospheric E-F coupling and inter-hemispheric coupling on the generation of ionospheric irregularities, becomes more prominent due to the significant dip angle and equipotentiality of magnetic field lines in the mid-latitude ionosphere. Polarized electric fields can map to different ionospheric regions and excite plasma instabilities which form ionospheric irregularities. Nevertheless, the mapping efficiency of a polarized electric field depends on the ionospheric background and spatial scale of the field.
Connecting earthquake nucleation in basement rock to fluid injection in basal, sedimentary reservoirs, depends heavily on choices related to the poroelastic properties of the fluid-rock system, thermo-chemical effects notwithstanding. Direct constraints on these parameters outside of laboratory settings are rare, and it is commonly assumed that the rock layers are isotropic. With the Arbuckle wastewater disposal reservoir in Osage County, Oklahoma, high-frequency formation pressure changes and collocated broadband ground velocities measured during the passing of large teleseismic waves show a poroelastic response of the reservoir that is both azimuthally variable and anisotropic; this includes evidence of static shifts in pressure that presumably relate to changes in local permeability. The azimuthal dependence in both the static response and shear coupling appears related to tectonic stress and strain indicators such as the orientations of the maximum horizontal stress and faults and fractures. Using dynamic strains from a nearby borehole strainmeter, we show that the ratio of shear to volumetric strain coupling is
With the development of unconventional shale gas in the southern Sichuan Basin, seismicity in the region has increased significantly in recent years. Though the existing sparse regional seismic stations can capture most earthquakes with
The sun-grazing comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) showed a distorted, unconventional tail morphology near its perihelion (1.2Rs). Based on the “Solar Corona and Inner Heliosphere” modeling result of the magnetic field and plasma dynamics in the solar corona, we use the Runge-Kutta method to simulate the moving trajectory of charged dust and ion particles released at different positions from the C/2011 W3 orbit. We find that the dust particles near the sun, which are subject to a strong magnetic Lorentz force, travel differently from their counterparts distant from the sun, where the latter are mainly affected by the solar gravitational force and radiation pressure. According to the simulation results, we propose that the magnetic mirror effect can rebound the charged dust particles back away from the sun and be regarded as one crucial cause of the dust-free zone formation. We find that ions mainly move along magnetic field lines at an acute angle to the comet's direction of motion. The cometary ions' movement direction was determined by the comet's velocity and the coronal magnetic field, which are responsible for the C/2011 W3’s unique comet tail shape near perihelion. Additionally, the ion particles also experience perpendicular drift motion, mainly dominated by the electric field drift, which is similar to and can be used to approximate the solar wind's transverse velocity at its source region.
With conjunction observations of electromagnetic fields and plasma from Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorm (THEMIS) in the near-Earth magnetotail, we investigate the spatial and temporal properties of substorm dipolarizations in the near-Earth plasma sheet (NEPS) during a substorm at 03:23 UT on 12 February 2008. Substorm dipolarizations with different features are detected by three near-Earth THEMIS probes (THA (P5), THD (P3) and THE (P4)) in the magnetotail. In the current sheet with a large plasma beta value (β > 2, where β is the ratio of the plasma thermal pressure to the magnetic pressure), the dipolarization within the substorm onset region, (−10.4, 2.8, −2.6)RE_gsm, has a large initial magnetic field elevation angle, θ > 60°, θ = arctan (Bz/(Bx2+By2)1/2), and is accompanied by energetic ion (tens to hundred keV) dispersionless injection detected by THD (P3). This substorm onset dipolarization is characterized by Bx and By components around 0 nT with significant fluctuations. The Bz component increases sharply and its subsequent magnitude approaches the total magnetic field, Bt. The maximum value of the elevation angle approaches 85° during the later substorm expansion phase. In the NEPS with β ~ 1, the dipolarization outside the substorm onset region is characterized by a magnetic elevation angle with a small beginning value of θ < 45° and following multi-step enhancements during the substorm expansion phase. The maximum value of the elevation angle approaches to 70° during the later substorm expansion phase. Our observation results indicate that characteristics of dipolarization with a large beginning elevation angle within the substorm onset region provide a new indicator to identify substorm onset location.
During geomagnetically active times such as geomagnetic storms, large amounts of energy can be released into the Earth’s magnetosphere and change the ring current intensity. Previous studies showed that significant enhancement of the ring current was related to geomagnetic storms, while few studies have examined substorm effects on ring current dynamics. In this study, we examine the ring current variation during non-storm time (SYM-H > −50 nT) substorms, especially during super-substorms (AE > 1000 nT). We perform a statistical analysis of ring current plasma pressure and number flux of various ion species under different substorm conditions, based on Van Allen Probe observations. The plasma pressure and ion fluxes of the ring current increased dramatically during super-substorms, while little change was observed for substorms with AE < 1000 nT. The results shown in this study indicate that a non-storm time super-substorm may also have a significant contribution to the ring current.
Simulation results from a global magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model are used to examine whether the bow shock has an indentation and characterize its formation conditions, as well as its physical mechanism. The bow shock is identified by an increase in plasma density of the solar wind, and the indentation of the bow shock is determined by the shock flaring angle. It is shown that when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is southward and the Alfvén Mach number (Mα) of solar wind is high (> 5), the bow shock indentation can be clearly determined. The reason is that the outflow region of magnetic reconnection (MR) that occurs in the low latitude area under southward IMF blocks the original flow in the magnetosheath around the magnetopause, forming a high-speed zone and a low-speed zone that are upstream and downstream of each other. This structure hinders the surrounding flow in the magnetosheath, and the bow shock behind the structure widens and forms an indentation. When Mα is low, the magnetosheath is thicker and the disturbing effect of the MR outflow region is less obvious. Under northward IMF, MR occurs at high latitudes, and the outflow region formed by reconnection does not block the flow inside the magnetosheath, thus the indentation is harder to form. The study of the conditions and formation process of the bow shock indentation will help to improve the accuracy of bow shock models.
In this study, long term observations of medium frequency (MF) radar at Langfang site (39.4°N, 116.7°E) from 2009 to 2020 have been used to analyze the dependence of the 11-year solar cycle on horizontal winds in the local mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). The results show that the zonal wind is positively correlated with solar activity during spring at 80–84 km, and during summer at 80–82 km; the meridional wind is positively correlated with solar activity during spring at 84–88 km and during summer at 84–90 km. In contrast, the results show no correlation between the horizontal wind and solar activity in autumn and winter. We attempt to explain the correlations in terms of the changes in stratospheric temperature and the net flux of gravity waves during solar activities. In addition, annual and semiannual oscillations of the zonal/meridional wind were found by using the least squares fitting method on daily horizontal winds, which show negative correlations with solar activity at heights of 80–90 km.
Anomalous changes of zonal wind quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in winter 2015−2016 have received close attention. Combining radiosonde and satellite observations and reanalysis data, we investigate anomalous changes in temperature and ozone QBOs from the lower to middle stratosphere. As wind shear direction is reversed due to unexpected changes of zonal wind QBO at about 24−30 km, the shortest cold phase at 21−27 km appears in temperature QBO. This is different from the completely interrupted westward phase in zonal wind QBO, while the longest cold phase above almost 27 km lasts for 2−3 years from 2015 to 2017, owing to the absence of corresponding warm phase. Meridional scale reduction of temperature QBO causes a small temperature anomaly, thus the thermal wind relationship looks seemingly different from that in the other regular QBO cycles. QBO in the ozone mixing ratio anomaly shows a double-peak with inverse phase, and its phase below (above) 30 km is in agreement with (opposite to) the phase of temperature QBO because of different control mechanisms of ozone. Following temperature QBO variation, QBO in the ozone mixing ratio anomaly exhibits a less positive phase at 20−30 km in 2016−2017, and a very long positive phase above 30 km from 2015 to 2017. QBO in total column ozone shows a small peak in winter 2016−2017 since ozone is mainly concentrated at 20 to 30 km. Anomalous changes of temperature and ozone QBOs due to unexpected QBO zonal wind variation can be well-explained according to thermal wind balance and thermodynamic balance.
The thermal structure of the continental subduction zone can be deduced from high-pressure and ultra-high-pressure rock samples or numerical simulation. However, petrological data indicate that the temperature of subducted continental plates is generally higher than that derived from numerical simulation. In this paper, a two-dimensional kinematic model is used to study the thermal structure of continental subduction zones, with or without a preceding oceanic slab. The results show that the removal of the preceding oceanic slab can effectively increase the slab surface temperature of the continental subduction zone in the early stage of subduction. This can sufficiently explain the difference between the cold thermal structure obtained from previous modeling results and the hot thermal structure obtained from rock sample data.
We use broadband records from a dense seismic network deployed in and around the Qaidam Basin in northwestern China to analyze the crustal phases and investigate the depth of the Conrad and Moho discontinuities as well as the P-wave velocity. Waveform cross-correlation is used to assist in the identification of the crustal phases and in determining their arrival times. Depth of the Conrad discontinuity is determined by fitting the travel times of Conrad-diffracted P-waves using a two-layer model. The depth of the Conrad discontinuity under the eastern part of the basin is shallower than the western part, which can be attributed to different crustal shortening mechanisms. The upper crust shortening in the western part of the basin leads to thickening of the upper crust, while multiple thrust faults result in the rise of the Conrad discontinuity in the east. These two different mechanisms determine the depth change of the Conrad discontinuity in the basin from the west to the east, which is supported by the results in this study.