Articles | Volume 20, issue 1
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 20, 163–178, 2013
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 20, 163–178, 2013

Research article 21 Feb 2013

Research article | 21 Feb 2013

Ion motion in the current sheet with sheared magnetic field – Part 1: Quasi-adiabatic theory

A. V. Artemyev1,2, A. I. Neishtadt1,3, and L. M. Zelenyi1 A. V. Artemyev et al.
  • 1Space Research Institute, RAS, Profsouznaya st., 84/32, GSP-7, 117997 Moscow, Russia
  • 2Laboratoire de physique et chimie de l'environnement et de l'Espace (LPC2E), UMR7328, CNRS – Université d'Orléans, 3A, Avenue de la Recherche Scientifique, 45071 Orleans cedex 2, France
  • 3Department of Mathematical Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK

Abstract. We present a theory of trapped ion motion in the magnetotail current sheet with a constant dawn–dusk component of the magnetic field. Particle trajectories are described analytically using the quasi-adiabatic invariant corresponding to averaging of fast oscillations around the tangential component of the magnetic field. We consider particle dynamics in the quasi-adiabatic approximation and demonstrate that the principal role is played by large (so called geometrical) jumps of the quasi-adiabatic invariant. These jumps appear due to the current sheet asymmetry related to the presence of the dawn–dusk magnetic field. The analytical description is compared with results of numerical integration. We show that there are four possible regimes of particle motion. Each regime is characterized by certain ranges of values of the dawn–dusk magnetic field and particle energy. We find the critical value of the dawn–dusk magnetic field, where jumps of the quasi-adiabatic invariant vanish.