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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Oct 2018

Research article | 09 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG).

Ion acceleration at dipolarization fronts associated with interchange instability in the magnetotail

Chao Sun1, Yasong Ge2, and Haoyu Lu1,3 Chao Sun et al.
  • 1School of Space and Environment, Beihang University, Beijing, 100191, China
  • 2Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 3Lunar and Planetary Science Laboratory, Macau University of Science and Technology - Partner Laboratory of Key Laboratory of Lunar and Deep Space Exploration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Macau, 519020, China

Abstract. It has been confirmed that dipolarization fronts (DFs) can be a result from the existence of interchange instability in the magnetotail. In this paper, we used a Hall MHD model to simulate the evolution of the interchange instability, which produces DFs on the leading edge. A test particle simulation was performed to study the physical phenomenon of ion acceleration on DF. Numerical simulation indicates that almost all particles move towards the earthward and dawnward and then drift to the tail. The DF-reflected ion population on the duskside appears earlier as a consequence of the asymmetric Hall electric field. Ions, with dawn-dusk asymmetric semicircle behind the DF, may tend to be accelerated to a higher energy (>13.5keV). These high-energy particles are eventually concentrated in the dawnside. Ions experience effective acceleration by the dawnward electric field Ey while they drift through the dawn flank of the front towards the tail.

Chao Sun et al.
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Chao Sun et al.
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Short summary
In this paper, we used a test particle simulation to investigate ion acceleration at dipolarization fronts (DFs) produced by interchange instability in the magnetotail, by performing a Hall MHD simulation. Test particles were settled in both the pre-DF and post-DF region, most of them exhibited earthward and dawnward drift and then diverted tailward. Numerical simulation results indicate that the ions initially settled behind the front may obtain higher energization.
In this paper, we used a test particle simulation to investigate ion acceleration at...