Excitation of extremely low-frequency chorus emissions: The role of background plasma density
Low-frequency chorus emissions have recently attracted much attention due to the suggestion that they may play important roles in the dynamics of the Van Allen Belts. However, the mechanism (s) generating these low-frequency chorus emissions have not been well understood. . In this letter, we report an interesting case in which background plasma density lowered the lower cutoff frequency of chorus emissions from above 0.1 f ce (typical ordinary chorus) to 0.02 f ce (extremely low-frequency chorus). Those extremely low-frequency chorus waves were observed in a rather dense plasma, where the number density N e was found to be several times larger than has been associated with observations of ordinary chorus waves. For suprathermal electrons whose free energy is supplied by anisotropic temperatures, linear growth rates (calculated using in-situ plasma parameters measured by the Van Allen Probes) show that whistler mode instability can occur at frequencies below 0.1 f ce when the background plasma density N e increases. Especially when N e reaches 90 cm\textendash3 or more, the lowest unstable frequency can extend to 0.02 f ce or even less, which is consistent with satellite observations. Therefore, our results demonstrate that a dense background plasma could play an essential role in the excitation of extremely low-frequency chorus waves by controlling the wave growth rates.
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Earth and Planetary Physics
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