2014 Summer Workshop

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June 15-20, 2014

Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Conference Center, Portsmouth, Virginia


Web links to more Workshop information:

Information about the GEM Student Workshop on Sunday, June 15 is available at GEM Student Forum.

Below are session announcements from active GEM Focus Groups. The symbol @ in all e-mail addresses below is replaced by " [at] ".

NEW: The Workshop Sessions Page contains the most updated session agenda provided by Focus Groups.

(Last update of this page: 6/10/2014)


Radiation Belts and Wave Modeling

Conveners: Yuri Shprits <yshprits [at] atmos.ucla.edu>, Scot Elkington, Jacob Bortnik, Craig Kletzing

To the members of the RBW GEM focus group,

Our focus group is coming to an end and we would like to summarize our progress and the work that we have done over the last few years.

Our sessions attracted a lot of interest, and we believe that the most important result of our work are the discussions held during our sessions. Our discussions helped us focus on the most important scientific topics, and provided a forum for the exchange of ideas. Our particle and wave challenges set up a framework for the future validation of models comparison of models with observation and improved our understanding of physical processes in the radiation belts. To summarize the efforts of the RBW FG, we would like to collect the titles of the publications that are related to RBW FG work. Please submit the titles of your publications relevant to RBW GEM at http://tinyurl.com/RBW-GEM-PUB.

The Magnetosheath

Conveners: Katariina Nykyri <nykyrik [at] erau.edu> and Steve Petrinec <petrinec [at] lmsal.com>

Magnetosheath FG will have 3 sessions planned for the upcoming GEM meeting:

Session 1 (Thursday, 1:30-3:00, Joint with Geospace System Science FG)

The Magnetosheath and Geospace System Science FGs are holding a joint session at the summer GEM meeting on Thursday 19th of June at 01:30-03:00 PM. We seek observational and theory/simulation speakers who study physical mechanisms on how magnetosheath (MSH) properties impact and drive magnetospheric (MSP) plasma and field properties. For example, the specific entropy from magnetosheath into magnetosphere increases by orders of magnitude but the physical mechanisms responsible for this are not clearly understood. Talks that discuss the origins of non-adiabatic plasma heating via magnetopause or magnetospheric plasma processes are encouraged:

1. Are there some specific solar wind and magnetosheath conditions where the specific entropy increase is further enhanced or reduced? 2. How do the electron and ion temperature and specific entropy ratios change from magnetosheath into magnetosphere (dayside, inner magnetosphere and magnetotail) and what physical mechanisms in the magnetosheath, magnetopause and magnetosphere contribute to maintaining or changing these ratios during different SW conditions? 3. Can we identify similarities and differences in these heating processes in the magnetosheath-magnetosphere system from those in solar corona?

To enable adequate discussion we limit each speaker to 3-5 slides. Send your contribution idea to session organizers by 7th of June:

jborovsky [at] Space.Science.org petrinec [at] lmsal.com nykyrik [at] erau.edu william.lotko [at] dartmouth.edu alejo [at] macul.ciencias.uchile.cl vadim.uritsky [at] nasa.gov

Session 2 (Thursday, 3:30-5:00, Joint with Magnetic Reconnection FG)

The Magnetosheath and Reconnection FGs are holding a joint session at the summer GEM meeting on Thursday 19th of June at 03:30-05:00 PM. In addition to a few speakers to set the stage, we seek observational and theory/simulation speakers who study

1. The consequences of foreshock and magnetosheath turbulence on dayside reconnection, 2. The effects of velocity shear and plasma beta on dayside reconnection, 3. Plasma heating in magnetosheath reconnection

To enable adequate discussion we limit each speaker to 3-5 slides (including 1 introduction slide to acclimate students in attendance). Send your contribution idea to session organizers by 7th of June:

petrinec [at] lmsal.com nykyrik [at] erau.edu pacassak [at] mail.wvu.edu homakar [at] gmail.com arunov [at] igpp.ucla.edu

Session 3 (Friday, 10:30-12:15)

We seek observational and theory/simulation speakers (3-5 slides/speaker) who have recent new results on the topics related to the magnetosheath FG proposal and which are not addressed in the joint sessions (see above). Also, as this is the last FG meeting, we ask previous GEM magnetosheath FG participants to send a 2-3 slide summary of their magnetosheath work and list of publications addressing any of the topics listed in GEM FG proposal and/or challenge related to dawn-dusk asymmetries. A discussion of a possible magnetosheath FG review paper is also presented. Accomplishments of the magnetosheath FG will be presented at Friday afternoon summary session.

Send your contribution idea to session organizers by 7th of June: petrinec [at] lmsal.com, nykyrik [at] erau.edu

Metrics and Validation

Conveners: Lutz Rastaetter <lutz.rastaetter [at] nasa.gov>, Tim Guild <timothy.b.guild [at] aero.org>, and Howard Singer <howard.singer [at] noaa.gov>

Session 1: Model Uncertainty: Dealing with uncertain physical processes and boundary conditions.

In this session we solicit contributions discussing how model uncertainties and uncertain boundary conditions affect model results and validation. Specifically solicited are strategies to accommodate uncertainty in modeled physical processes (e.g. uncertain radiation belt diffusion coefficients), uncertainty in boundary conditions (e.g. upstream solar wind), or the validation of models at their boundaries (such as ground-based magnetometers).

We will introduce a challenge based on previously run magnetopause standoff simulations that compared model results to magnetopause crossings of geo-synchronous satellites. The few crossings observed during strong events revealed significant discrepancies between the major magnetospheric MHD models. We plan to revisit the challenge on the basis of selected events with steady and changing solar wind conditions and observations near the nose of the magnetosphere. The role of boundary conditions applied at the inner boundary (e.g., ionospheric conductance and convection, plasma density and temperature, magnetic field) can be tested. Some of the questions that can be addressed are:

  1. Which model is better suited to predict magnetopause position near the nose of the magnetosphere under typical conditions/storm time conditions?
  2. What model assumptions affect the model predictions significantly and lead to differences between models?
  3. How does the magnetopause change during extreme events
  4. How sensitive is model performance to changes of the boundary conditions?
  5. Can we define common settings for the inner boundary location, and the plasma density or temperature applied at this boundary?

We also anticipate presentations on topics such as the influence of the plasma sheet boundary conditions on ring current development and also welcome specifications of uncertainties derived from observations and lessons from data assimilation and ensemble modeling methods.

Session 2: Validating Models under Extreme Geomagnetic Conditions.

Extreme events in the geospace environment are among the most interesting scientifically as well as important for their space weather consequences. The goals for this session are: to show model results for extreme events in the magnetosphere, to share information about the range of conditions where models have been validated, to assess methods for validating model performance with limited observations (such as for early historical events), and to assess the reliability of a model outside the range in which it has been validated. These results will guide our understanding of the magnetosphere under extreme conditions, and provide insight into what physics needs to be incorporated into models so that they perform better during extreme events. Contributions to these and related issues are welcome.

The Ionospheric Source of Magnetospheric Plasma--Measuring, Modeling and Merging into the GEM GGCM

Conveners: Rick Chappell <rick.chappell [at] vanderbilt.edu>, Bob Schunk and Dan Welling

Plans are taking shape for the upcoming GEM meeting in June and we would like to invite you to participate in the activities of the Ionospheric Source of Magnetospheric Plasma focus group. This group has as its goal to improve the understanding of the role of the ionospheric outflow source by (1) refining outflow modeling through comparison with measurements, (2) adjusting the outflow modeling to become a compatible input to the magnetospheric Geospace Global Circulation Models (GGCM), (3) comparing magnetospheric modeling results with satellite and ground-based measurements and (4) examining ways in which the dynamic magnetosphere can couple back to influence the original ionospheric outflow.

We are following a schedule of cooperative modeling and measurement activities that was planned by the focus group attendees at the Snowmass Meeting last June and that has included presentations at the mini-GEM meeting at the AGU meeting in December and the AGU Chapman conference at Yosemite in February. We have begun working together on both an idealized magnetic storm period and on the first real storm event (September 27 to October 4, 2002).

Generalized polar wind outflow modeling at USU has been completed for the idealized storm and is available to the community to compare with other outflow models and to use as input for magnetospheric models. The GPW outflow model is being run now for the first real storm period and initial results will be available at the June GEM meeting. Contact Bob Schunk for model output details (rws4405[at]yahoo.com) Upstream solar wind drivers are also available for these two storms from Dan Welling at UM (dwelling[at]umich.edu).

We have planned the following four sessions for the June GEM meeting and would like for you to suggest topics that you would like to present in the sessions.

Session 1—Merged Model and Measurements of Storm Dynamics 1—June 17, 10:30 am This session will be an opportunity for ionospheric outflow, magnetospheric and merged M-I modelers to present results related to the idealized storm as well as the first real storm event. Comparisons between modeling approaches are encouraged as well as the presentation and inter-comparison of relevant measurements for each of the storms.

Session 2—Merged Model and Measurements of Storm Dynamics 2—June 17, 1:30 pm This session will be a continuation of session 1 with an emphasis on the real storm event. Presentation of specific satellite and ground-based data during the selected first real storm event will be encouraged so that comparison with the evolving merged models of this storm can be made.

Session 3—General Contributions in Measurements & Modeling Including the Plasmasphere—June 17, 3:30 pm This session will cover a variety of topics related to developing the merged ionosphere-magnetosphere models and testing them with measurements made during the storm periods. We are also requesting presentations related to plasmasphere modeling and measurement.

Session 4—Planning Session—June 18, 10:30 am This will be an open discussion to update the coordinated modeling and measurement research that was initiated at the 2013 GEM meeting. We will assess our progress and develop new approaches as necessary to continue the active cooperative research that has begun. We will also select the second storm event to be modeled for comparison with measurements.

Please send your topics and suggestions to Rick Chappell by May 12, 2014 at rick.chappell [at] vanderbilt.edu.

We look forward to seeing you at the GEM meeting in June.

Scientific Magnetic Mapping & Techniques

Conveners: Elizabeth MacDonald <e.a.macdonald [at] nasa.gov>, Robyn Millan <robyn.millan [at] dartmouth.edu>, and Eric Donovan <edonovan [at] ucalgary.ca>

The Scientific Magnetic Mapping and Techniques Focus Group will be having 3 sessions at this year's GEM in Ports Ballroom VI-VIII. More information on our group including the final agenda can be found at bit.ly/gem_mapping. We welcome new participants and lively discussions.

Wed. 3:30 – 5:00: The open-closed boundary mapping challenge (including presentations by Liz MacDonald, Shasha Zou, Alex Glocer, Misha Sitnov, Grant Stephens, and more; primary event of interest Nov 14, 2012)

Thur. 10:30 - 12:15: BARREL mapping challenge (led by Robyn Millan events of interest include Jan 26 & Feb 2 2013; Jan 3–7 2014)

Thurs. 1:30 – 3:00: A joint session with the Metrics and Validation focus group (led by Eric Donovan and Lutz Rastaetter) We are soliciting input from researchers interested in developing quantitative tests of model-based magnetic mapping.

There is also room for presentations on other mapping related topics. Please let us know if you would like to join in these exciting discussions and we will see you soon.

Tail-Inner Magnetosphere Interactions

Conveners: Frank Toffoletto, John Lyon, Pontus Brandt, and Vassilis Angelopoulos

The GEM focus group on Tail-Inner Magnetosphere Interactions will hold its breakout sessions on Tuesday June 17, 2014. We invite contributions to this session. More information on the focus group can be found at the Tail-Inner Magnetosphere Interactions FG page.

In addition to general contributions, we would like to invite participation from both modelers and observers in addressing two specific questions related to the physics of BBFs/dipolarization fronts:

  1. How is the formation of the substorm current wedge related to BBFs/dipolarization fronts?
  2. What is the physics of the oscillations in the field and plasma seen ahead of the front?

Details on these events can be found on the GEM wiki page.

We also plan to have a joint session with the reconnection focus group on Monday afternoon. Please email Frank Toffoletto (toffo [at] rice.edu) if you wish to make a presentation. We look forward to a productive session at GEM.

Transient Phenomena at the Magnetopause and Bow Shock and Their Ground Signatures

Conveners: Hui Zhang <hzhang [at] gi.alaska.edu>, Q.-G. Zong <qgzong [at] gmail.com>, Michael Ruohoniemi <mikeruo [at] vt.edu>, David Murr <murrdl [at] augsburg.edu>

The Transient Phenomena at the Magnetopause and Bow Shock and Their Ground Signatures focus group will hold 3 sessions at the upcoming Workshop in Portsmouth, Virginia, June 15-20, 2014.

Session 1: 01:30 pm - 03:00 pm on Wednesday (June 18) Foreshock Phenomena

Session 2: 03:30 am - 05:00 pm on Wednesday (June 18) Magnetopause Phenomena

Session 3: 10:30 pm - 12:15 pm on Thursday (June 19) Ground Signatures

If you would like to present in this focus group sessions, please send a tentative title of your presentation to hzhang [at] gi.alaska.edu by June 6, Friday.

The Focus Group description is available at Transient Phenomena at the Magnetopause and Bow Shock and Their Ground Signatures.

You can also find a table and a short description of some transient foreshock phenomena, together with a list of Hot Flow Anomaly and Foreshock Bubble event at this webpage. You are more than welcome to investigate these events and their ionospheric response.

Magnetic Reconnection in the Magnetosphere

Conveners: Paul Cassak <Paul.Cassak [at] mail.wvu.edu>, Andrei Runov <arunov [at] igpp.ucla.edu>, and Homa Karimabadi <homakar [at] gmail.com>

We are announcing plans for the "Magnetic Reconnection in the Magnetosphere" Focus Group sessions at the upcoming GEM Meeting.

The format for each is to have two speakers set the scene on a particular topic. Others are encouraged to contribute to the discussion and put up a slide or two as relevant. Half of one session will be for general contributions consisting of no more than 4 slides - 1 for intro to acclimate graduate students, and no more than 3 on your topic. If you would like to be considered for one of the general contributions, please email Paul.Cassak [at] mail.wvu.edu with your topic. We will try to accommodate as many of the requests for talks as possible. We strongly encourage everyone wishing to present to sign up to give a poster to ensure you are able to present more than a few slides. Please let one of the focus group chairs know if you have any comments or questions.

The dates, times, locations, and summaries for each session are described here:

Monday 6/16, 10:30am-12:15pm, Ports Ballroom I-III First half - "What controls the rate of dayside reconnection?" Scene-setters - Joe Borovsky and Ramon Lopez Science - It has long been thought that the reconnection rate at the dayside is controlled by the electric field in the solar wind. Recent observations that geomagnetic indices are affected by plasmaspheric drainage plumes called this into question, suggesting local control of the reconnection rate. This session will tackle this fundamental question of importance to solar wind-magnetospheric coupling. We will hear from proponents on each side and discuss how future progress will be made on these questions.

Second half - "General Contributions" Scene-setters - None Science - Please consider contributing a few slides on any topic on reconnection (provided it is GEM relevant). Observations, modeling, and theory presentations are encouraged. Again, since we are only leaving 45 minutes for this session, all potential contributors are encouraged to also sign up to give a poster.

Monday 6/16, 1:30pm-3:00pm, Ports Ballroom I-III First half - "What determines the cross-tail scale of reconnection jets?" Scene-setters - Phil Pritchett and Jiang Liu Science - Multi-satellite missions have made it accessible to study the three-dimensional structure of reconnection in the magnetotail. Observationally, what is the characteristic length in the out-of-plane direction of the reconnection events? Theoretically, what physically sets this length? These topics will be discussed in this session.

Second half - "How is magnetotail reconnection modulated by dayside reconnection? What is the nature of magnetotail reconnection onset and transients?" Scene-setters - Toshi Nishimura and Joachim Birn Science - Reconnection in the magnetotail onsets abruptly, and is often bursty. It can further be modulated due to time-dependent phenomena on the dayside. This session will discuss how reconnection in the magnetotail responds to modulation from the dayside and what causes reconnection onset and transients in the magnetotail. Observational and theoretical/modeling considerations will be discussed.

Monday 6/16, 3:30pm-5:00pm, Ports Ballroom I-III (Joint with "Tail-Inner Magnetosphere Interactions" Focus Group) Scene-setters - Misha Sitnov and Andrei Runov Science - This joint session will focus on the relationship between bursty bulk flows/dipolarization fronts and reconnection, both from the observational and theoretical/modeling perspective. In many ways, this is a continuation of the1:30-3:00 session, but additional attention will be paid to the ramifications on the inner magnetosphere. Please let Paul.Cassak [at] mail.wvu.edu or toffo [at] rice.edu know if you are interested in contributing.

Thursday 6/19, 3:30pm-5:00pm, Ports Ballroom I-III (Joint with "The Magnetosheath" Focus Group) Scene-setters - TBD Science - We seek observational and theory/simulation speakers who study 1. the consequences of foreshock and magnetosheath turbulence on dayside reconnection, 2. the effects of velocity shear and plasma beta on dayside reconnection, 3. plasma heating in magnetosheath reconnection. Please send your contribution ideas to session organizers by the 6th of June(any of the above organizers or petrinec [at] lmsal.com or nykyrik [at] erau.edu)

We look forward to seeing you at the sessions! Please let the organizers (Paul.Cassak [at] mail.wvu.edu) know about contributions by Friday, June 6.

Storm-Time Inner Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Convection

Conveners: Joseph Baker, Stan Sazykin, Mike Ruohoniemi, Peter Chi, Mark Engebretson

We are asking for your participation in the SIMIC (Storm-Time Inner Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Convection) focus group sessions at the upcoming GEM workshop. The SIMIC Focus Group will hold 3 breakout sessions on Monday June 16; one of these session will be joint with the new "Systems Science" focus group and focus on the shielding phenomenon.

We invite brief presentations on observations and modeling that examine the coupled dynamics of the inner magnetosphere and ionosphere during geomagnetic storms. Some examples of relevant parameters of interest include: plasma distributions, magnetic topology, convection electric fields, and current systems.

For this year's workshop, we are looking for presentations that: (i) address the specific question of shielding and penetration electric fields, or (ii) highlight other outstanding science questions relevant to the focus group.

More details about the SIMIC Focus Group can be found at:


If you would like to give a SIMIC presentation please email Joseph Baker <bakerjb [at] vt.edu> and Stan Sazykin <sazykin [at] rice.edu> providing: (i) a working title for your talk, (ii) the specific science question(s) you will be addressing, and, (iii) dates and times for any event periods that will be highlighted.

Geospace Systems Science

Conveners: Joe Borovsky (jborovsky [at] spacescience.org), Bill Lotko (William.Lotko [at] dartmouth.edu), Vadim Uritsky (vadim.uritsky [at] nasa.gov), Juan Alejandro Valdivia (alejo [at] macul.ciencias.uchile.cl)

For the new "Geospace Systems Science" Focus group, two working sessions will be held at the GEM Summer Workshop in Portsmouth, VA. This is a call for research and participation in those two sessions.

Session 1: "Timescales, Time Lags, and Feedback Loops in the M-I System". The first purpose of this session is to identify, catalog, and quantify the known timescales and time lags in the M-I system associated with reactions to the solar wind, with plasma transport, with morphological evolution, with the evolution of plasma populations and radiation belts, with ionospheric outflows, etc. The second purpose is to identify and catalog the feedback loops in the driven M- I system. Put on your thinking caps and join this discussion.

Session 2: "Long-Running Measurements of the State of the System: What Can Be Done?" We rely chiefly on the geomagnetic indices to characterize the reaction of the magnetosphere to solar-wind driving. Are there other measures of the system that can and should be used? Can we create long-running, continuous "indices" that characterize the state of the electron radiation belt, the rate of ion outflow from the ionosphere, the stretching of the magnetotail, the polar-cap size, plasma-wave intensities, the global TEC, NOX densities, etc. We are asking participants to suggest and defend ideas for important measurements of the system and to say how feasible it would be to make an index of that measurement. Discussion without slides is optimal. Please contact the conveners about ideas.

A third GSS planning session will also be held, plus two joint sessions to be announced separately.

Inner Magnetosphere Cross-Energy/Population Interactions

Conveners: Yiqun Yu <yiqun [at] lanl.gov>, Colby Lemon <colby [at] aero.org>, Michael Liemohn <liemohn [at] umich.edu>, and Jichun Zhang <jichun.zhang [at] unh.edu>

We would like to call for research and participation in the new Focus group "Inner magnetosphere cross-energy/population interactions", held at the GEM summer workshop in Portsmouth, VA. There will be three sessions:

Session 1 (Thursday, June 19, 1:30-3:00pm): "Influence of plasmasphere/ring current populations on wave excitation and particle distribution, and feedback on these populations." The purpose of this session is to build on what was learnt from the past Focus Group "plasmasphere-magnetosphere interaction" and apply that to couple the plasmasphere with higher-energy population, and therefore continue the discussion on the coupling between the plasmasphere, waves, and ring current.

Session 2 (Thursday, June 19, 3:30-5:00pm): "Coupling of ring current plasma with fields." There has been significant modeling effort on improving the self-consistency between the plasma and fields (both electric and magnetic). We would like to move forward and continue to improve the modeling capability by stimulating the development of more comprehensive, full-physics models that could account for self-consistent cross-energy/population coupling processes.

Session 3 (Friday, June 20, 10:30-12:15pm): "Improve the full self-consistent link between the wave-particle interactions, particle precipitation, and ionospheric conductivity model." We call for modeling efforts from different regions to couple the necessary physical models, such as an ionospheric conductivity model based on particle precipitation due to inner magnetosphere wave-particle interactions, and the feedback effects on the ring current/radiation belts. This session will also invoke planning discussion for our future direction.

Quantitative Assessment of Radiation Belt Modeling

Conveners: Jay Albert, Wen Li, Steve Morley, Weichao Tu

At this year's GEM Summer Workshop we will start a new Focus Group on "Quantitative Assessment of Radiation Belt Modeling". The goals of our FG are to bring together the current state-of-art models for the acceleration, transport, and loss processes in radiation belts, develop event-specific and global wave, plasma, and magnetic field models to drive these radiation belt models, and combine all these components to achieve a quantitative assessment of radiation belt modeling by validating against contemporary radiation belt measurements.

Five sessions have been planned for the upcoming GEM workshop:

Session 1 (Tue, 10:30-12:15 PM): "Joint Session with Radiation Belts & Wave Modeling focus group". In this joint session, the RBWM FG (finishing this year) will wrap up their accomplishments in the past 5 years and then set up the stage for our introduction of the new FG of Quantitative Assessment of Radiation Belt Modeling. We will discuss the remaining open questions in RB modeling and connect them to our FG goals and challenges.

Session 2 (Tue, 01:30-03:00 PM): "Review existing RB models and discuss where we are and what are needed". In this session, we solicit short presentations discussing the existing models for the acceleration, transport, and loss of radiation belt particles. In general, we welcome talks that not only showcase their results, but also include discussions like: "Mechanism ____ is evidently necessary, though not sufficient since ___." We will discuss questions such as: what are "standard" RB codes not doing well enough? vs. What are we not doing at all but probably should be?

Session 3 (Tue, 03:30-05:00 PM): "Various magnetospheric wave characteristics and their global distribution required in RB modeling". In this session, we solicit short presentations focusing on characterizing various wave properties that are required as inputs to RB models. The topics will cover ULF waves, chorus and hiss, EMIC waves, magnetosonic waves, etc., and their effects on RB particles. We will review the available wave models and discuss what are still missing for RB modeling.

Session 4 (Wed, 10:30-12:15 PM): "Seed populations, plasma density, and magnetic field configuration required in RB modeling". In this session, we solicit short presentations specifying other required inputs for driving RB simulations, which include particle seed populations, plasma density, magnetic field configuration, last closed drift shell, etc. Again, we will review what are currently available and discuss what are still missing.

Session 5 (Wed, 01:30-03:00 PM): "Wrap-up discussion and plan for future FG activities". In this final session, we will wrap up this year’s FG with more big-picture discussions, and plan for future FG activities for mini-GEM and next year. One important future activity is the 'RB dropout' and 'RB buildup' Challenges. Here we solicit short presentations proposing interesting dropout/buildup events for our future challenges.

If you would like to present in any of these sessions, please send your talk title and the relevant session number to Weichao Tu (wtu [at] lanl.gov) by June 6, 2014. We will review the talks and announce the detailed session agenda before the meeting. Participation in discussions and brief walk-in talks are always welcomed.

Thank you in advance for your contributions!

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