Global occurrences of electrostatic electron cyclotron harmonic waves associated with radiation belt electron distributions
Electrostatic electron cyclotron harmonic (ECH) waves can yield diffuse aurora primarily at higher L-shells by driving efficient precipitation loss of plasma sheet electrons. Here using the Van Allen Probes high resolution data, we examine in detail the global occurrences of ECH waves during the period from October 1, 2012 to June 30, 2017 and find that there are totally 419 events of enhanced ECH waves. The statistical results demonstrate that ECH waves can be present over a broad region of L=4-6 and 00-24 MLT, with a higher occurrence in the region of L=5-6 and 06-19 MLT. The electron phase space density exhibits a distinct ring distribution (∂f/∂v⊥ >0) with the peak energy around a few keV. Both ECH wave events and the electron ring distributions are closely related and tend to be more distinct with increasing geomagnetic activity.
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Geophysical Research Letters