Summary form only given. The Earth's plasmasphere is a region of dense plasma, originating in the ionosphere, extending nearly to geostationary orbit. The precise extent of the plasmasphere is dynamic, particularly during geomagnetic active conditions. Knowing the exact distribution of plasma in the plasmasphere is important as an input to coupled magnetospheric models. In particular, density gradients inside the plasmasphere and at the plasmapause, are important in controlling waves which are responsible for the growth and decay of the radiation belts. At the most basic level the plasmasphere can be described in terms of plasma exchange with the ionosphere and convection due to an imposed electric field. At that level plasmasphere modeling is relatively simple. However there is currently insufficient knowledge of the drivers, particularly the electric field, to model the plasmasphere boundaries at the most accurate level to provide sufficient quality inputs to wave and radiation belt models.
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