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Global view of refilling of the plasmasphere

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • B. R. Sandel
  • M. H. Denton
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Geophysical Research Letters
Number of pages5
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We use observations by the IMAGE Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUV) to characterize the outflow of He+ from the ionosphere to the plasmasphere under quiet conditions. The view afforded by the IMAGE orbit encompasses the entire plasmasphere in a single exposure, enabling us to examine for the first time the globally-averaged properties of plasmasphere refilling. We focus on a study period that begins with a moderate erosion event, and follow refilling during multiple orbits for a period of 69 hours. The inferred volume refilling rate, averaged over azimuth and time, ranges from ∼1 He+ cm−3 h−1 at L = 3.3 to ∼7 × 10−2 He+ cm−3 h−1 at L = 6.3 and is generally consistent with earlier, more local measurements. We show that the measured radial abundance profiles match those predicted by the Sheffield University Plasmasphere Ionosphere Model (SUPIM) for 2 ≤ L ≤ 4.