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地球与行星物理

ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Zhang, H., Wang, Y. B., and Lu, J. Y. (2022). Statistical study of “trunk-like” heavy ion structures in the inner magnetosphere. Earth Planet. Phys., 6(4), 1–11. http://doi.org/10.26464/epp2022032

doi: 10.26464/epp2022032

SPACE PHYSICS: MAGNETOSPHERIC PHYSICS

Statistical study of “trunk-like” heavy ion structures in the inner magnetosphere

1. 

Institute of Space Weather, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China

2. 

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030, China

Corresponding author: YaBing Wang, yb.wang@shao.ac.cnJianYong Lu, jylu@nuist.edu.cn

Received Date: 2022-01-13
Web Publishing Date: 2022-05-13

We present a statistical study of “trunk-like” structures observed in He+ and O+ in the inner magnetosphere. The main characteristic of these structures is that the energy of the peak flux decreases earthward. Using observations from the Helium Oxygen Proton Electron (HOPE) instrument onboard Van Allen Probe A, we identify the trunks observed from November 2012 to June 2019 and obtain the universal time, L shell, magnetic local time (MLT), and energy information of each trunk’s root and tip. We then investigate the behavior of trunks in terms of their frequency of occurrence, temporal evolution, spatial and energy distribution, and trunk dependence on different geomagnetic indices. We find that (1) the trunks are always located at L = 1.5−4.0 and have a preferential location mainly concentrated at MLT = 18−24, (2) the sector within MLT = 14−16 is a forbidden zone without trunk roots, and (3) the energy of He+ trunks is the largest near dusk and gradually decreases in the counterclockwise direction, whereas the energy of O+ trunks is relatively evenly distributed with MLT and L. The differences between He+ and O+ trunks are probably due to the different charge exchange and Coulomb collision lifetime. The dependence on different geomagnetic indices indicates that the trunk structures occur more frequently during relatively quiet periods.

Key words: "trunk-like" heavy ion structures, spatial and energy distribution, geomagnetic activity dependence

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Statistical study of “trunk-like” heavy ion structures in the inner magnetosphere

Hao Zhang, YaBing Wang, JianYong Lu