Interplanetary Shock‐Induced Magnetopause Motion: Comparison Between Theory and Global Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations

Desai, R. T., Freeman, M. P., Eastwood, J. P., Eggington, J. W. B., Archer, M. O., Shprits, Y. Y., Meredith, N. P., Staples, F. A., Rae, Jonathan, Hietala, H., Mejnertsen, L., Chittenden, J. P. and Horne, R. B. (2021) Interplanetary Shock‐Induced Magnetopause Motion: Comparison Between Theory and Global Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (16). e2021GL092554. ISSN 0094-8276

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The magnetopause marks the outer edge of the Earth's magnetosphere and a distinct boundary between solar wind and magnetospheric plasma populations. In this study, we use global magnetohydrodynamic simulations to examine the response of the terrestrial magnetopause to fast-forward interplanetary shocks of various strengths and compare to theoretical predictions. The theory and simulations indicate the magnetopause response can be characterized by three distinct phases; an initial acceleration as inertial forces are overcome, a rapid compressive phase comprising the majority of the distance traveled, and large-scale damped oscillations with amplitudes of the order of an Earth radius. The two approaches agree in predicting subsolar magnetopause oscillations with frequencies 2–13 mHz but the simulations notably predict larger amplitudes and weaker damping rates. This phenomenon is of high relevance to space weather forecasting and provides a possible explanation for magnetopause oscillations observed following the large interplanetary shocks of August 1972 and March 1991.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: R. T. Desai, J. P. Eastwood, and J. P. Chittenden acknowledge funding from NERC grant NE/P017347/1 (Rad-Sat). M. P. Freeman was supported by NERC grant NE/P016693/1 (SWIGS). J W. B. Eggington is funded by a UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Studentship (ST/R504816/1). M. O. Archer holds a UKRI (STFC/EPSRC) Stephen Hawking Fellowship EP/T01735X/1. Research into magnetospheric modeling at Imperial College London is also supported by Grant NE/P017142/1 (SWIGS). N. Meredith and R. Horne would like to acknowledge the Natural Environment Research Council Highlight Topic grant NE/P10738X/1 (Rad-Sat) and the NERC grants NE/V00249X/1 298 (Sat Risk) and NE/R016038/1. I. J. Rae and F. A. Staples acknowledge STFC grants ST/V006320/1 and NE/P017185/1. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 870452 (PAGER). This work used the Imperial College High Performance Computing Service (doi: 10.14469/hpc/2232).
Subjects: F300 Physics
F500 Astronomy
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2021 09:31
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 12:49

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