A statistical study of plasmaspheric plumes and ionospheric outflows observed at the dayside magnetopause
Publication date: 29 February 2016
Authors: Lee, S. H., et al.
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Copyright: © 2016 American Geophysical Union
We present a statistical study of plasmaspheric plumes and ionospheric outflows observed by the Cluster spacecraft near the dayside magnetopause. Plasmaspheric plumes are identified when the low-energy ions (<1 keV) with ~90° pitch angle distributions are observed by the Cluster Ion Spectrometer/Hot Ion Analyzer instrument. The ionospheric outflows are characterized by unidirectional or bidirectional field-aligned pitch angle distributions of low-energy ions observed in the dayside magnetosphere. Forty-three (10%) plasmaspheric plume events and 32 (7%) ionospheric outflow events were detected out of the 442 times that C3 crossed the dayside magnetopause between 2007 and 2009. The occurrence rate of plumes at duskside is significantly higher than that at dawnside. The occurrence rate of outflows shows a weak dawn-dusk asymmetry. We investigate the dependence of the occurrence rates of plumes and ionospheric outflows on geomagnetic activity and on solar wind/interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions. The plume events tend to occur during southward IMF (duskward solar wind electric field) and moderate geomagnetic activity (Kp = 3, -30 ≤ Dst < -10 nT). However, the ionospheric outflow events tend to occur during northward IMF (dawnward solar wind electric field). The ionospheric outflows do not occur when Kp = 0, and the occurrence rate of the ionospheric outflows does not have a clear Dst dependence. Seventy-five percent (46%) of the outflows are observed in the duskside for negative (positive) IMF By. Conversely, 54% (25%) of the outflows are observed in the dawnside for positive (negative) IMF By. Finally, the occurrence rates of both plumes and outflows increase with solar wind dynamic pressure.Link to publication