Characteristic dimension of electromagnetic ion cyclotron wave activity in the magnetosphere

Author
Keywords
Abstract
[1] In this paper, we estimate the size of coherent activity of electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves using the multi-spacecraft observations made during the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission. We calculate the cross-correlations between EMIC wave powers measured by different THEMIS spacecraft, plot them over the separation distances between pairs of observing spacecraft, and determine the 1/e folding distance of the correlations as the characteristic dimension of the coherent wave activity. The characteristic radius in the direction transverse to the local magnetic field is found to lie in rather a wide range of 1500\textendash8600 km varying from the AM to PM sectors and also from hydrogen to helium bands. However, the characteristic dimensions normalized by either gyroradius or wavelength fall into narrower ranges almost independent of the emission band and event location. Specifically, the coherent dimension is found to be 10\textendash16 times gyroradius of 100 keV protons and 2\textendash3 times local wavelength. The former may give a useful scale for the source dimension, and the latter suggests that the EMIC wave activity maintains coherency only up to a couple of wavelengths.
Year of Publication
2013
Journal
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume
118
Number of Pages
1651-1658
Date Published
04/2013
URL
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/jgra.50242
DOI
10.1002/jgra.50242