Relationship of dayside auroral precipitations to the open-closed separatrix and the pattern of convective flow
Lockwood, M. (1997) Relationship of dayside auroral precipitations to the open-closed separatrix and the pattern of convective flow. Journal of Geophysical Research, 102 (A8). p. 17475. ISSN 0148-0227
To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/97JA01100
The implications are discussed of acceleration of magnetospheric ions by reflection off two magnetopause Alfvén waves, launched by the reconnection site into the inflow regions on both sides of the boundary. The effects of these waves on the ion populations, predicted using the model described by Lockwood et al. , offer a physical interpretation of all the various widely used classifications of precipitation into the dayside ionosphere, namely, central plasma sheet, dayside boundary plasma sheet (BPS), void, low-latitude boundary layer (LLBL), cusp, mantle, and polar cap. The location of the open-closed boundary and the form of the convection flow pattern are discussed in relation to the regions in which these various precipitations are typically found. Specifically, the model predicts that both the LLBL and the dayside BPS precipitations are on newly opened field lines and places the convection reversal within the LLBL, as is often observed. It is shown that this offers solutions to a number of paradoxes and problems that arise if the LLBL and BPS precipitations are thought of as being on closed field lines. This model is also used to make quantitive predictions of the longitudinal extent and latitudinal width of the cusp, as a function of solar wind density.