Multiscale Simulations of the Dayside Magnetopause

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Jean Berchem1, Giovanni Lapenta2 and Maha Ashour-Abdalla1, (1)University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (2)Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Gaining an understanding of the interaction between the solar wind and the dayside magnetospheric boundary has been a challenging problem. One of the main difficulties is that it requires following both the evolution of the large-scale interaction, and the details of the kinetic processes that enable transport of energy and mass in localized regions of the magnetospheric boundary. To approach this multiscale problem, we have carried out 2½ dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of the dayside magnetopause using simulation domains that are large enough to include large-scale features of the solar wind interaction with the geomagnetic field (e.g., field curvature and plasma asymmetries). The computational challenge is addressed by using the results of global magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations to provide initial and boundary conditions for a two-dimensional version of the implicit iPic3d simulation code. We discuss the PIC simulation results in the context of the initial steady MHD state and spacecraft observations to highlight the effects of kinetic processes. In particular, we analyze the wave activity and follow the evolution of particle distributions in different regions of the simulations to assess plasma transport at the magnetospheric boundary.