Statistical analysis of relativistic electron energies for cyclotron resonance with EMIC waves observed on CRRES
Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves which propagate at frequencies below the proton gyrofrequency can undergo cyclotron resonant interactions with relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt and cause pitch-angle scattering and electron loss to the atmosphere. Typical storm-time wave amplitudes of 1\textendash10 nT cause strong diffusion scattering which may lead to significant relativistic electron loss at energies above the minimum energy for resonance, Emin. A statistical analysis of over 800 EMIC wave events observed on the CRRES spacecraft is performed to establish whether scattering can occur at geophysically interesting energies (<=2 MeV). While Emin is well above 2 MeV for the majority of these events, it can fall below 2 MeV in localized regions of high plasma density and/or low magnetic field (fpe/fce,eq > 10) for wave frequencies just below the hydrogen or helium ion gyrofrequencies. These lower energy scattering events, which are mainly associated with resonant L-mode waves, are found within the magnetic local time range 1300 < MLT < 1800 for L > 4.5. The average wave spectral intensity of these events (4\textendash5 nT2/Hz) is sufficient to cause strong diffusion scattering. The spatial confinement of these events, together with the limited set of these waves that resonate with <=2 MeV electrons, suggest that these electrons are only subject to strong scattering over a small fraction of their drift orbit. Consequently, drift-averaged scattering lifetimes are expected to lie in the range of several hours to a day. EMIC wave scattering should therefore significantly affect relativistic electron dynamics during a storm. The waves that resonate with the \~MeV electrons are produced by low-energy (\~keV) ring current protons, which are expected to be injected into the inner magnetosphere during enhanced convection events.
|Year of Publication||
Journal of Geophysical Research