Low-energy (< 200 eV) electron acceleration by ULF waves in the plasmaspheric boundary layer: Van Allen Probes observation

TitleLow-energy (< 200 eV) electron acceleration by ULF waves in the plasmaspheric boundary layer: Van Allen Probes observation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRen, J, Zong, QG, Miyoshi, Y, Zhou, XZ, Wang, YF, Rankin, R, Yue, C, Spence, HE, Funsten, HO, Wygant, JR, Kletzing, CA
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published08/2017
KeywordsCold plasmaspheric electrons; drift-bounce resonance; Plasma instability; Plasmaspheric boundary layer; Substorm-injected protons; ULF waves; Van Allen Probes
AbstractWe report observational evidence of cold plamsmaspheric electron (< 200 eV) acceleration by ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves in the plasmaspheric boundary layer on 10 September 2015. Strongly enhanced cold electron fluxes in the energy spectrogram were observed along with second harmonic mode waves with a period of about 1 minute which lasted several hours during two consecutive Van Allen Probe B orbits. Cold electron (<200 eV) and energetic proton (10-20 keV) bi-directional pitch angle signatures observed during the event are suggestive of the drift-bounce resonance mechanism. The correlation between enhanced energy fluxes and ULF waves leads to the conclusions that plasmaspheric dynamics is strongly affected by ULF waves. Van Allen Probe A and B, GOES 13, GOES 15 and MMS 1 observations suggest ULF waves in the event were strongest on the dusk-side magnetosphere. Measurements from MMS 1 contain no evidence of an external wave source during the period when ULF waves and injected energetic protons with a bump-on-tail distribution were detected by Van Allen Probe B. This suggests that the observed ULF waves were probably excited by a localized drift-bounce resonant instability, with the free energy supplied by substorm-injected energetic protons. The observations by Van Allen Probe B suggest that energy transfer between particle species in different energy ranges can take place through the action of ULF waves, demonstrating the important role of these waves in the dynamical processes of the inner magnetosphere.
Short TitleJ. Geophys. Res. Space Physics

Page Last Modified: September 8, 2017