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The Role of Mesoscale Processes in Stormtime Geospace

Presentation #125.43 in the session General Topics: Solar — Poster Session.

Published onOct 20, 2022
The Role of Mesoscale Processes in Stormtime Geospace

Geomagnetic storms are a consequence of complex plasma disturbances starting beneath the surface of the sun, propagating through and interacting with the interplanetary space before impacting Earth. Storm effects throughout geospace are pervasive; to emphasize this, we refer to geomagnetic storms as geospace storms. Geospace is a comprised of interconnected physical domains: the magnetosphere, including all of its regions; the ionosphere; and the upper atmosphere in which the ionosphere is embedded. During storms, all of these domains become active and engage in complex, non-linear, cross-scale interactions that profoundly alter the entire system. The complexity of stormtime geospace is manifested in the strong coupling of all these regions across a broad range of scales, from global to microscopic. Recent work has shown the particular importance of mesoscale processes in mediating the complex stormtime interactions. Understanding this complexity requires the development of models that possess sufficient resolving power to represent the relevant processes across as wide a range of scales as is computationally feasible.

In this presentation, we review recent results from the Multiscale Atmosphere-Geospace Environment (MAGE) model that is being developed by the newly established NASA DRIVE Science Center for Geospace Storms (CGS) with the above challenges in mind. We concentrate on representative examples of “mesoscale processes with global-scale consequences” to demonstrate the unique complexity of the cross-scale coupling in stormtime geospace. The examples include mesoscale plasma sheet bursty flows, entropy bubbles and injections of hot plasma into the terrestrial ring current; precipitation of energetic magnetospheric particles into the ionosphere and its effects on local and global electrodynamics; plasmaspheric and ionospheric plasma plumes; and the redistribution of mass density in the thermosphere by travelling ionospheric and atmospheric disturbances induced by high-latitude energy input from the magnetosphere. We conclude by placing these representative cross-scale coupling processes in the context of the global mass and energy redistribution characteristic of storm-time geospace dynamics.

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