Fast damping of ultralow frequency waves excited by interplanetary shocks in the magnetosphere

Analysis of Cluster spacecraft data shows that intense ultralow frequency (ULF) waves in the inner magnetosphere can be excited by the impact of interplanetary shocks and solar wind dynamic pressure variations. The observations reveal that such waves can be damped away rapidly in a few tens of minutes. Here we examine mechanisms of ULF wave damping for two interplanetary shocks observed by Cluster on 7 November 2004 and 30 August 2001. The mechanisms considered are ionospheric joule heating, Landau damping, and waveguide energy propagation. It is shown that Landau damping provides the dominant ULF wave damping for the shock events of interest. It is further demonstrated that damping is caused by drift-bounce resonance with ions in the energy range of a few keV. Landau damping is shown to be more effective in the plasmasphere boundary layer due to the higher proportion of Landau resonant ions that exist in that region.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published