Found 23 results
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Authors: Yue Chao, Bortnik Jacob, Li Wen, Ma Qianli, Gkioulidou Matina, et al.
Title: The composition of plasma inside geostationary orbit based on Van Allen Probes observations
Abstract: The composition of the inner magnetosphere is of great importance for determining the plasma pressure, and thus the currents and magnetic field configuration. In this study, we perform a statistical survey of equatorial plasma pressure distributions and investigate the relative contributions of ions and electron with different energies inside of geostationary orbit under two AE levels based on over sixty months of observations from the HOPE and RBSPICE mass spectrometers on board Van Allen Probes. We find that the total and partial pressures of different species increase significantly at high AE levels with Hydrogen (H+) pressure being dominant in the plasmasphere. The pressures of the heavy ions and electrons increase outside the plasmapause and develop a strong dawn‐dusk asymmetry with. . .
Date: 07/2018 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025344 Available at:
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Authors: Yue Chao, Bortnik Jacob, Thorne Richard M, Ma Qianli, An Xin, et al.
Title: The characteristic pitch angle distributions of 1 eV to 600 keV protons near the equator based on Van Allen Probes observations
Abstract: Understanding the source and loss processes of various plasma populations is greatly aided by having accurate knowledge of their pitch angle distributions (PADs). Here, we statistically analyze ~1 eV to 600 keV hydrogen (H+) PADs near the geomagnetic equator in the inner magnetosphere based on Van Allen Probes measurements, to comprehensively investigate how the H+ PADs vary with different energies, magnetic local times (MLTs), L-shells, and geomagnetic conditions. Our survey clearly indicates four distinct populations with different PADs: (1) a pancake distribution of the plasmaspheric H+ at low L-shells except for dawn sector; (2) a bi-directional field-aligned distribution of the warm plasma cloak; (3) pancake or isotropic distributions of ring current H+; (4) radiation belt particles s. . .
Date: 08/2017 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024421 Available at:
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Authors: Yue Chao, Chen Lunjin, Bortnik Jacob, Ma Qianli, Thorne Richard M, et al.
Title: The characteristic response of whistler mode waves to interplanetary shocks
Abstract: Magnetospheric whistler mode waves play a key role in regulating the dynamics of the electron radiation belts. Recent satellite observations indicate a significant influence of interplanetary (IP) shocks on whistler mode wave power in the inner magnetosphere. In this study, we statistically investigate the response of whistler mode chorus and plasmaspheric hiss to IP shocks based on Van Allen Probes and THEMIS satellite observations. Immediately after the IP shock arrival, chorus wave power is usually intensified, often at post-midnight to pre-noon sector, while plasmaspheric hiss wave power predominantly decreases near the dayside but intensifies near the nightside. We conclude that chorus wave intensification outside the plasmasphere is probably associated with the suprathermal electron . . .
Date: 09/2017 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024574 Available at:
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Authors: Li Jinxing, Bortnik Jacob, An Xin, Li Wen, Thorne Richard M, et al.
Title: Chorus Wave Modulation of Langmuir Waves in the Radiation Belts
Abstract: Using high-resolution waveforms measured by the Van Allen Probes, we report a novel observation in the radiation belts. Namely, we show that multiband, discrete, rising-tone whistler mode chorus emissions exhibit a one-to-one correlation with Langmuir wave bursts. Moreover, the periodic Langmuir wave bursts are generally observed at the phase location where the chorus wave E|| component is oriented opposite to its propagation direction. The electron measurements show a beam in phase space density at the particle velocity that matches the parallel phase velocity of the chorus waves. Based on this evidence, we conclude that the chorus waves accelerate the suprathermal electrons via Landau resonance and generate a localized electron beam in phase space density. Consequently, the Langmuir wave. . .
Date: 12/2017 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 11,713 - 11,721 DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075877 Available at:
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Authors: Li Jinxing, Bortnik Jacob, Li Wen, Thorne Richard M, Ma Qianli, et al.
Title: Coherently modulated whistler mode waves simultaneously observed over unexpectedly large spatial scales
Abstract: Utilizing simultaneous twin Van Allen Probes observations of whistler mode waves at variable separations, we are able to distinguish the temporal variations from spatial variations, determine the coherence spatial scale, and suggest the possible mechanism of wave modulation. The two probes observed coherently modulated whistler mode waves simultaneously at an unexpectedly large distance up to ~4.3 RE over 3 h during a relatively quiet period. The modulation of 150–500 Hz plasmaspheric hiss was correlated with whistler mode waves measured outside the plasmasphere across 3 h in magnetic local time and 3 L shells, revealing that the modulation was temporal in nature. We suggest that the coherent modulation of whistler mode waves was associated with the coherent ULF waves measured ov. . .
Date: 02/2017 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 1871-1882 DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023706 Available at:
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Authors: Ma Qianli, Mourenas Didier, Li Wen, Artemyev Anton, and Thorne Richard M
Title: VLF waves from ground-based transmitters observed by the Van Allen Probes: Statistical model and effects on plasmaspheric electrons
Abstract: Whistler-mode Very Low Frequency (VLF) waves from powerful ground-based transmitters can resonantly scatter energetic plasmaspheric electrons and precipitate them into the atmosphere. A comprehensive 4-year statistics of Van Allen Probes measurements is carried out to assess their consequences on the dynamics of the inner radiation belt and slot region. Statistical models of the measured wave electric field power and of the inferred full wave magnetic amplitude are provided as a function of L, magnetic local time, season, and Kp over L=1-3, revealing the localization of VLF wave intensity and its variation with geomagnetic activity over 2012-2016. Since this VLF wave model can be directly used together with existing hiss and lightning-generated wave models in radiation belt simulation code. . .
Date: 06/2017 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073885 Available at:
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Authors: Maldonado Armando A., Chen Lunjin, Claudepierre Seth G., Bortnik Jacob, Thorne Richard M, et al.
Title: Electron butterfly distribution modulation by magnetosonic waves
Abstract: The butterfly pitch angle distribution is observed as a dip in an otherwise normal distribution of electrons centered about αeq=90°. During storm times, the formation of the butterfly distribution on the nightside magnetosphere has been attributed to L shell splitting combined with magnetopause shadowing and strong positive radial flux gradients. It has been shown that this distribution can be caused by combined chorus and magnetosonic wave scattering where the two waves work together but at different local times. Presented in our study is an event on 21 August 2013, using Van Allen Probe measurements, where a butterfly distribution formation is modulated by local magnetosonic coherent magnetosonic waves intensity. Transition from normal to butterfly distributions coincides with rising m. . .
Date: 04/2016 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2016GL068161 Available at:
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Authors: Yue Chao, Li Wen, Nishimura Yukitoshi, Zong Qiugang, Ma Qianli, et al.
Title: Rapid enhancement of low-energy (<100 eV) ion flux in response to interplanetary shocks based on two Van Allen Probes case studies: Implications for source regions and heating mechanisms
Abstract: Interactions between interplanetary (IP) shocks and the Earth's magnetosphere manifest many important space physics phenomena including low-energy ion flux enhancements and particle acceleration. In order to investigate the mechanisms driving shock-induced enhancement of low-energy ion flux, we have examined two IP shock events that occurred when the Van Allen Probes were located near the equator while ionospheric and ground observations were available around the spacecraft footprints. We have found that, associated with the shock arrival, electromagnetic fields intensified, and low-energy ion fluxes, including H+, He+, and O+, were enhanced dramatically in both the parallel and perpendicular directions. During the 2 October 2013 shock event, both parallel and perpendicular flux enhancemen. . .
Date: 06/2016 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022808 Available at:
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Authors: Yue Chao, An Xin, Bortnik Jacob, Ma Qianli, Li Wen, et al.
Title: The relationship between the macroscopic state of electrons and the properties of chorus waves observed by the Van Allen Probes
Abstract: Plasma kinetic theory predicts that a sufficiently anisotropic electron distribution will excite whistler mode waves, which in turn relax the electron distribution in such a way as to create an upper bound on the relaxed electron anisotropy. Here using whistler mode chorus wave and plasma measurements by Van Allen Probes, we confirm that the electron distributions are well constrained by this instability to a marginally stable state in the whistler mode chorus waves generation region. Lower band chorus waves are organized by the electron β∥e into two distinct groups: (i) relatively large-amplitude, quasi-parallel waves with inline image and (ii) relatively small-amplitude, oblique waves with inline image. The upper band chorus waves also have enhanced amplitudes close to the instabili. . .
Date: 08/2016 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 7804 - 7812 DOI: 10.1002/2016GL070084 Available at:
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Authors: Yue Chao, Bortnik Jacob, Chen Lunjin, Ma Qianli, Thorne Richard M, et al.
Title: Transitional behavior of different energy protons based on Van Allen Probes observations
Abstract: Understanding the dynamical behavior of ~1 eV to 50 keV ions and identifying the energies at which the morphologies transit are important in that they involve the relative intensities and distributions of the large-scale electric and magnetic fields, the outflow and recombination rates. However, there have been only few direct observational investigations of the transition in drift behaviors of different energy ions before the Van Allen Probes era. Here, we statistically analyze ~1 eV to 50 keV Hydrogen (H+) differential flux distributions near geomagnetic equator by using Van Allen Probes observations to investigate the H+ dynamics under the regulation of large-scale electric and magnetic fields. Our survey clearly indicates three types of H+ behaviors within different energy ranges, whic. . .
Date: 12/2016 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071324 Available at:
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Authors: Li Jinxing, Bortnik Jacob, Thorne Richard M, Li Wen, Ma Qianli, et al.
Title: Ultrarelativistic electron butterfly distributions created by parallel acceleration due to magnetosonic waves
Abstract: The Van Allen Probe observations during the recovery phase of a large storm that occurred on 17 March 2015 showed that the ultrarelativistic electrons at the inner boundary of the outer radiation belt (L* = 2.6–3.7) exhibited butterfly pitch angle distributions, while the inner belt and the slot region also showed evidence of sub-MeV electron butterfly distributions. Strong magnetosonic waves were observed in the same regions and at the same time periods as these butterfly distributions. Moreover, when these magnetosonic waves extended to higher altitudes (L* = 4.1), the butterfly distributions also extended to the same region. Combining test particle calculations and Fokker-Planck diffusion simulations, we successfully reproduced the formation of the ultrarelativistic electron b. . .
Date: 04/2016 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 3212 - 3222 DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022370 Available at:
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Authors: Ma Qianli, Li Wen, Thorne Richard M, Bortnik Jacob, Kletzing C A, et al.
Title: Electron scattering by magnetosonic waves in the inner magnetosphere
Abstract: We investigate the importance of electron scattering by magnetosonic waves in the Earth's inner magnetosphere. A statistical survey of the magnetosonic wave amplitude and wave frequency spectrum, as a function of geomagnetic activity, is performed using the Van Allen Probes wave measurements, and is found to be generally consistent with the wave distribution obtained from previous spacecraft missions. Outside the plasmapause the statistical frequency distribution of magnetosonic waves follows the variation of the lower hybrid resonance frequency, but this trend is not observed inside the plasmasphere. Drift and bounce averaged electron diffusion rates due to magnetosonic waves are calculated using a recently developed analytical formula. The resulting time scale of electron energization du. . .
Date: 12/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021992 Available at:
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Authors: Chen Lunjin, Maldonado Armando, Bortnik Jacob, Thorne Richard M, Li Jinxing, et al.
Title: Nonlinear Bounce Resonances between Magnetosonic Waves and Equatorially Mirroring Electrons
Abstract: Equatorially mirroring energetic electrons pose an interesting scientific problem, since they generally cannot resonate with any known plasma waves and hence cannot be scattered down to lower pitch angles. Observationally it is well known that the fluxof these equatorial particles does not simply continue to build up indefinitely, and so a mechanism must necessarily exist that transports these particles from a equatorial pitch angle of 90 degrees down to lower values. However this mechanism has not been uniquely identified yet. Here, we investigate the mechanism of bounce resonance with equatorial noise (or fast magnetosonic waves). A test particle simulation is used to examine the effects of monochromatic magnetosonic waves on the equatorially mirroring energetic electrons, with a special. . .
Date: 06/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021174 Available at:
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Authors: Ni Binbin, Zou Zhengyang, Gu Xudong, Zhou Chen, Thorne Richard M, et al.
Title: Variability of the pitch angle distribution of radiation belt ultra-relativistic electrons during and following intense geomagnetic storms: Van Allen Probes observations
Abstract: Fifteen months of pitch angle resolved Van Allen Probes REPT measurements of differential electron flux are analyzed to investigate the characteristic variability of the pitch angle distribution (PAD) of radiation belt ultra-relativistic (>2 MeV) electrons during storm conditions and during the long-term post-storm decay. By modeling the ultra-relativistic electron pitch angle distribution as sinn α, where α is the equatorial pitch angle, we examine the spatio-temporal variations of the n-value. The results show that in general n-values increase with the level of geomagnetic activity. In principle, ultra-relativistic electrons respond to geomagnetic storms by becoming more peaked at 90° pitch angle with n-values of 2–3 as a supportive signature of chorus acceleration outside the pla. . .
Date: 05/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021065 Available at:
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Authors: Chen Lunjin, Thorne Richard M, Bortnik Jacob, Li Wen, Horne Richard B, et al.
Title: Generation of Unusually Low Frequency Plasmaspheric Hiss
Abstract: It has been reported from Van Allen Probe observations that plasmaspheric hiss intensification in the outer plasmasphere, associated with a substorm injection on Sept 30 2012, occurred with a peak frequency near 100 Hz, well below the typical plasmaspheric hiss frequency range, extending down to ~20 Hz. We examine this event of unusually low frequency plasmaspheric hiss to understand its generation mechanism. Quantitative analysis is performed by simulating wave ray paths via the HOTRAY ray tracing code with measured plasma density and calculating ray path-integrated wave gain evaluated using the measured energetic electron distribution. We demonstrate that the growth rate due to substorm injected electrons is positive but rather weak, leading to small wave gain (~10 dB) during a sin. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060628 Available at:
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Authors: Ma Qianli, Li Wen, Chen Lunjin, Thorne Richard M, and Angelopoulos Vassilis
Title: Magnetosonic wave excitation by ion ring distributions in the Earth's inner magnetosphere
Abstract: Combining Time History of Events and Macroscale Interaction during Substorms (THEMIS) wave and particle observations and a quantitative calculation of linear wave growth rate, we demonstrate that magnetosonic (MS) waves can be locally excited by ion ring distributions in the Earth's magnetosphere when the ion ring energy is comparable to the local Alfven energy. MS waves in association with ion ring distributions were observed by THEMIS A on 24 November 2010 in the afternoon sector, both outside the plasmapause where the wave spectrum varied with fLHR and inside the plasmapause where the wave frequency band remained nearly constant. Our plasma instability analysis in three different regions shows that higher and narrow frequency band MS waves are excited locally outside the plasmapause, an. . .
Date: 02/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 844 - 852 DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019591 Available at:
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Authors: Ni Binbin, Li Wen, Thorne Richard M, Bortnik Jacob, Green Janet C, et al.
Title: A novel technique to construct the global distribution of whistler mode chorus wave intensity using low-altitude POES electron data
Abstract: Although magnetospheric chorus plays a significant role in the acceleration and loss of radiation belt electrons, its global evolution during any specific time period cannot be directly obtained by spacecraft measurements. Using the low-altitude NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) electron data, we develop a novel physics-based methodology to infer the chorus wave intensity and construct its global distribution with a time resolution of less than an hour. We describe in detail how to apply the technique to satellite data by performing two representative analyses, i.e., (i) for one specific time point to visualize the estimation procedure and (ii) for a particular time period to validate the method and construct an illustrative global chorus wave model. We demonst. . .
Date: 07/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 5685 - 5699 DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.710.1002/2014JA019935 Available at:
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Authors: Ni Binbin, Li Wen, Thorne Richard M, Bortnik Jacob, Ma Qianli, et al.
Title: Resonant scattering of energetic electrons by unusual low-frequency hiss
Abstract: We quantify the resonant scattering effects of the unusual low-frequency dawnside plasmaspheric hiss observed on 30 September 2012 by the Van Allen Probes. In contrast to normal (~100–2000 Hz) hiss emissions, this unusual hiss event contained most of its wave power at ~20–200 Hz. Compared to the scattering by normal hiss, the unusual hiss scattering speeds up the loss of ~50–200 keV electrons and produces more pronounced pancake distributions of ~50–100 keV electrons. It is demonstrated that such unusual low-frequency hiss, even with a duration of a couple of hours, plays a particularly important role in the decay and loss process of energetic electrons, resulting in shorter electron lifetimes for ~50–400 keV electrons than normal hiss, and should be carefully incorpora. . .
Date: 03/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 1854 - 1861 DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059389 Available at:
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Authors: Ni Binbin, Bortnik Jacob, Thorne Richard M, Ma Qianli, and Chen Lunjin
Title: Resonant scattering and resultant pitch angle evolution of relativistic electrons by plasmaspheric hiss
Abstract: We perform a comprehensive analysis to evaluate hiss-induced scattering effect on the pitch angle evolution and associated decay processes of relativistic electrons. The results show that scattering by the equatorial, highly oblique hiss component is negligible. Quasi-parallel approximation is good for evaluation of hiss-driven electron scattering rates ≤ 2 MeV. However, realistic wave propagation angles as a function of latitude must be considered to accurately quantify hiss scattering rates above 2 MeV, and ambient plasma density is also a critical parameter. While the first-order cyclotron and the Landau resonances are dominant for hiss scattering < 2 MeV electrons, higher-order resonances become important and even dominant at intermediate pitch angles for ultrarelativistic (≥. . .
Date: 12/2013 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 7740 - 7751 DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019260 Available at:
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Authors: Meredith Nigel P, Horne Richard B, Glauert Sarah A, Thorne Richard M, Summers D., et al.
Title: Energetic outer zone electron loss timescales during low geomagnetic activity
Abstract: Following enhanced magnetic activity the fluxes of energetic electrons in the Earth's outer radiation belt gradually decay to quiet-time levels. We use CRRES observations to estimate the energetic electron loss timescales and to identify the principal loss mechanisms. Gradual loss of energetic electrons in the region 3.0 ≤ L ≤ 5.0 occurs during quiet periods (Kp < 3−) following enhanced magnetic activity on timescales ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 days for 214 keV electrons to 5.5 to 6.5 days for 1.09 MeV electrons. The intervals of decay are associated with large average values of the ratio fpe/fce (>7), indicating that the decay takes place in the plasmasphere. We compute loss timescales for pitch-angle scattering by plasmaspheric hiss using the PADIE code with wave properties based on C. . .
Date: 05/2006 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research DOI: 10.1029/2005JA011516 Available at:
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Authors: Horne Richard B, Thorne Richard M, Shprits Yuri Y, Meredith Nigel P, Glauert Sarah A, et al.
Title: Wave acceleration of electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts
Abstract: The Van Allen radiation belts1 are two regions encircling the Earth in which energetic charged particles are trapped inside the Earth's magnetic field. Their properties vary according to solar activity2, 3 and they represent a hazard to satellites and humans in space4, 5. An important challenge has been to explain how the charged particles within these belts are accelerated to very high energies of several million electron volts. Here we show, on the basis of the analysis of a rare event where the outer radiation belt was depleted and then re-formed closer to the Earth6, that the long established theory of acceleration by radial diffusion is inadequate; the electrons are accelerated more effectively by electromagnetic waves at frequencies of a few kilohertz. Wave acceleration can increase . . .
Date: 09/2005 Publisher: Nature Pages: 227 - 230 DOI: 10.1038/nature03939 Available at:
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Authors: Abel Bob, and Thorne Richard M
Title: Electron scattering loss in Earth’s inner magnetosphere 1. Dominant physical processes
Abstract: Pitch angle diffusion rates due to Coulomb collisions and resonant interactions with plasmaspheric hiss, lightning-induced whistlers and anthropogenic VLF transmissions are computed for inner magnetospheric electrons. The bounce-averaged, quasi-linear pitch angle diffusion coefficients are input into a pure pitch angle diffusion equation to obtain L and energy dependent equilibrium distribution functions and precipitation lifetimes. The relative effects of each scattering mechanism are considered as a function of electron energy and L shell. Model calculations accurately describe the enhanced loss rates in the slot region, as well as reduced scattering in the heavily populated inner radiation belt. Predicted electron distribution function calculations in the slot region display a character. . .
Date: 02/1998 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research Pages: 2385 - 2396 DOI: 10.1029/97JA02919 Available at:
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Authors: Summers D., Thorne Richard M, and Xiao Fuliang
Title: Relativistic theory of wave-particle resonant diffusion with application to electron acceleration in the magnetosphere
Abstract: Resonant diffusion curves for electron cyclotron resonance with field-aligned electromagnetic R mode and L mode electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are constructed using a fully relativistic treatment. Analytical solutions are derived for the case of a single-ion plasma, and a numerical scheme is developed for the more realistic case of a multi-ion plasma. Diffusion curves are presented, for plasma parameters representative of the Earth's magnetosphere at locations both inside and outside the plasmapause. The results obtained indicate minimal electron energy change along the diffusion curves for resonant interaction with L mode waves. Intense storm time EMIC waves are therefore ineffective for electron stochastic acceleration, although these waves could induce rapid pitch angle scat. . .
Date: 09/1998 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research Pages: 20487 - 20500 DOI: 10.1029/98JA01740 Available at:
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