Asymmetries in the Earth's dayside magnetosheath : results from global hybrid-Vlasov simulations

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Turc , L , Taryus , V , Dimmock , A P , Battarbee , M , Ganse , U , Johlander , A , Grandin , M , Pfau-Kempf , Y , Dubart , M & Palmroth , M 2020 , ' Asymmetries in the Earth's dayside magnetosheath : results from global hybrid-Vlasov simulations ' , Annales Geophysicae , vol. 38 , no. 5 , pp. 1045-1062 .

Title: Asymmetries in the Earth's dayside magnetosheath : results from global hybrid-Vlasov simulations
Author: Turc, Lucile; Taryus, Vertti; Dimmock, Andrew P.; Battarbee, Markus; Ganse, Urs; Johlander, Andreas; Grandin, Maxime; Pfau-Kempf, Yann; Dubart, Maxime; Palmroth, Minna
Contributor organization: Space Physics Research Group
Particle Physics and Astrophysics
Department of Physics
Date: 2020-10-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 18
Belongs to series: Annales Geophysicae
ISSN: 0992-7689
Abstract: Bounded by the bow shock and the magnetopause, the magnetosheath forms the interface between solar wind and magnetospheric plasmas and regulates solar wind-magnetosphere coupling. Previous works have revealed pronounced dawn-dusk asymmetries in the magnetosheath properties. The dependence of these asymmetries on the upstream parameters remains however largely unknown. One of the main sources of these asymmetries is the bow shock configuration, which is typically quasi-parallel on the dawn side and quasi-perpendicular on the dusk side of the terrestrial magnetosheath because of the Parker spiral orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) at Earth. Most of these previous studies rely on collections of spacecraft measurements associated with a wide range of upstream conditions which are processed in order to obtain average values of the magnetosheath parameters. In this work, we use a different approach and quantify the magnetosheath asymmetries in global hybrid-Vlasov simulations performed with the Vlasiator model. We concentrate on three parameters: the magnetic field strength, the plasma density, and the flow velocity. We find that the Vlasiator model reproduces the polarity of the asymmetries accurately but that their level tends to be higher than in spacecraft measurements, probably because the magnetosheath parameters are obtained from a single set of upstream conditions in the simulation, making the asymmetries more prominent. A set of three runs with different upstream conditions allows us to investigate for the first time how the asymmetries change when the angle between the IMF and the Sun-Earth line is reduced and when the Alfven Mach number decreases. We find that a more radial IMF results in a stronger magnetic field asymmetry and a larger variability of the magnetosheath density. In contrast, a lower Alfven Mach number leads to a reduced magnetic field asymmetry and a decrease in the variability of the magnetosheath density, the latter likely due to weaker foreshock processes. Our results highlight the strong impact of the quasi-parallel shock and its associated foreshock on global magnetosheath properties, in particular on the magnetosheath density, which is extremely sensitive to transient quasi-parallel shock processes, even with the perfectly steady upstream conditions in our simulations. This could explain the large variability of the density asymmetry levels obtained from spacecraft measurements in previous studies.
115 Astronomy, Space science
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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