A Study of Plasmaspheric Density Distributions for Diffusive Equilibrium Conditions
Planetary and Space Science
We have modelled the plasmaspheric density distribution for a range of solar cycle, seasonal and diurnal conditions with a magnetic flux tube dependent diffusive equilibrium model by using experimentally determined values of ionospheric parameters at 675 km as boundary conditions. Data is presented in terms of plasmaspheric H+ and He+ density contours, total flux tube content and equatorial plasma density for a range of L-values from 1.15 to 3.0. The variation of equatorial density with L-value shows good agreement with the 1/L4 dependence observed experimentally. The results show that the model predicts larger solar cycle and diurnal variation in equatorial plasma density than observed using whistler techniques. However, the whistler method requires a model to deduce the equatorial density and is therefore open to interpretation. Seasonal variations are rather artificial since in this general model we have not attempted to match equatorial densities for flux tubes emanating from the winter and summer hemispheres.
Li, W., J. J. Sojka, and W. J. Raitt, A study of plasmaspheric density distributions for diffusive equilibrium conditions, Planet Space Sci., 31, 1315–1327, 1983.