The Effects of Inductive Electric Field on the Spatial and Temporal Evolution of the Inner Magnetospheric Ring Current

Jianghuai Liu, Raluca Ilie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Charged particles are observed to be injected into the inner magnetosphere from the plasma sheet and energized up to high energies over short distance and time, during both geomagnetic storms and substorms. Numerous studies suggest that it is the short-duration and high-speed plasma flows, which are closely associated with the global effects of magnetic reconnection and inductive effects, rather than the slow and steady convection that control the earthward transport of plasma and magnetic flux from the magnetotail, especially during geomagnetic activities. In order to include the effect of the inductive electric field produced by the temporal change of magnetic field on the dynamics of ring current, we implemented both theoretical and numerical modifications to an inner magnetosphere kinetic model—Hot Electron-Ion Drift Integrator. New drift terms associated with the inductive electric field are incorporated into the calculation of bounce-averaged coefficients for the distribution function, and their numerical implementations and the associated effects on total drift and energization rate are discussed. Numerical simulations show that the local particle drifts are significantly altered by the presence of inductive electric fields, in addition to the changing magnetic gradient-curvature drift due to the distortion of magnetic field, and at certain locations, the inductive drift dominates both the potential and the magnetic gradient-curvature drift. The presence of a self-consistent inductive electric field alters the overall particle trajectories, energization, and pitch angle, resulting in significant changes in the topology and the strength of the ring current.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020JA028554
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • inductive electric field
  • inner magnetosphere
  • kinetic model
  • magnetic dipolarization
  • particles acceleration
  • ring current

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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