All Physics Faculty Publications

A Parametric Study of Plasmasphere Refilling Following Geomagnetic Storms Using a Multi-Fluid Hydrodynamic Model

Kausik Chatterjee, Utah State University
Robert W. Schunk, Utah State University


The objective of this paper is a parametric study of plasmaspheric refilling following geomagnetic storms using a multi-fluid hydrodynamic model. In this model, the mass and momentum equations for ions (H+, He+, O+) were solved using the flux-corrected transport method, a method that is extremely well-adapted to fluid mechanical problems with shocks and discontinuities. On the other hand, the heat conductivity equation for electrons was solved using the well-known Crank-Nicolson method, with the assumption of charge neutrality and equality of ion and electron temperatures along the field line. As a part of the study, the ion densities at the ionosphere-plasmasphere interface at the onset of the refilling process were varied along with the total energy input from the different electron heating mechanisms. In our study, the refilling process along the L = 4 line was simulated, and the study produced ion and electron temperatures decreasing from the equator to the polar regions along the field line, as well as presence of helium and oxygen ions during the early hours of refilling, consistent with satellite data.