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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-115
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-115
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: regular paper 21 Aug 2019

Submitted as: regular paper | 21 Aug 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Non-locality of the Earth's quasi-parallel bow shock: injection of thermal protons in a hybrid-Vlasov simulation

Markus Battarbee1, Urs Ganse1, Yann Pfau-Kempf1, Lucile Turc1, Thiago Brito1, Maxime Grandin1, Tuomas Koskela1,2, and Minna Palmroth1,3 Markus Battarbee et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  • 3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. We study the interaction of solar wind protons with the Earth's quasi-parallel bow shock using a hybrid-Vlasov simulation. We employ the high-fidelity global hybrid model Vlasiator to include effects due to bow shock curvature, tenuous upstream populations, and foreshock waves. We investigate the local uncertainty of the position of the quasi-parallel bow shock as a function of several plasma properties, and find that for a significant portion of time, the local bow shock position is challenging to define. Our results support the notion of upstream structures causing patchwork reconstruction of the quasi-parallel shock front in a non-uniform manner. We propose a novel method for spacecraft data to be used to analyze this quasi-parallel reformation.

We combine our hybrid-Vlasov results with test-particle studies and show that shock non-locality appears to have little direct efficient on particle injection. We show that proton energization, which is required for injection, takes place throughout a larger shock transition zone. Non-local energization of particles is found regardless of the instantaneous non-locality of the shock front. Distortion of magnetic fields in front of and at the shock is shown to have a significant effect on proton injection.

We additionally show that the density of suprathermal reflected particles upstream of the shock may not be a useful metric for the probability of injection at the shock, as foreshock dynamics and particle trapping appear to have a greater effect on energetic particle accumulation at a given position in space. Our results have significant implications for statistical and spacecraft studies of the shock injection problem.

Markus Battarbee et al.
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Supplementary Video A M. Battarbee, U. Ganse, Y. Pfau-Kempf, L. Turc, T. Brito, M. Grandin, T. Koskela, and M. Palmroth https://doi.org/10.5446/42960

Supplementary Video B M. Battarbee, U. Ganse, Y. Pfau-Kempf, L. Turc, T. Brito, M. Grandin, T. Koskela, and M. Palmroth https://doi.org/10.5446/42961

Supplementary Video C M. Battarbee, U. Ganse, Y. Pfau-Kempf, L. Turc, T. Brito, M. Grandin, T. Koskela, and M. Palmroth https://doi.org/10.5446/42962

Markus Battarbee et al.
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Short summary
The structure and medium-scale dynamics of the Earth's bow shock, and in particular how charged solar wind particles are sometimes reflected by it, are studied in order to better understand space weather effects. We use advanced supercomputer simulations to model the shock and particles. We find that the thickness of the shock depends on solar wind conditions, but has also small-scale variations. Charged particle reflection is shown to be more affected by magnetic fields than this thickness.
The structure and medium-scale dynamics of the Earth's bow shock, and in particular how charged...
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