Evolution of electron distribution driven by nonlinear resonances with intense field-aligned chorus waves
Resonant electron interaction with whistler-mode chorus waves is recognized as one of the main drivers of radiation belt dynamics. For moderate wave intensity, this interaction is well described by quasi-linear theory. However, recent statistics of parallel propagating chorus waves have demonstrated that 5 - 20\% of the observed waves are sufficiently intense to interact nonlinearly with electrons. Such interactions include phase trapping and phase bunching (nonlinear scattering) effects not described by quasi-linear diffusion. For sufficiently long (large) wave-packets, these nonlinear effects can result in very rapid electron acceleration and scattering. In this paper we introduce a method to include trapping and nonlinear scattering into the kinetic equation describing the evolution of the electron distribution function. We use statistics of Van Allen Probes and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) observations to determine the probability distribution of intense, long wave-packets as a function of power and frequency. Then we develop an analytical model of individual particle resonance with an intense chorus wave-packet and derive the main properties of this interaction: probability of electron trapping, energy change due to trapping and nonlinear scattering. These properties are combined in a nonlocal operator acting on the electron distribution function. When multiple waves are present, we average the obtained operator over the observed distributions of waves and examine solutions of the resultant kinetic equation. We also examine energy conservation and its implications in systems with nonlinear wave-particle interaction.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics