Localization of the Source of Quasiperiodic VLF Emissions in the Magnetosphere by Using Simultaneous Ground and Space Observations: A Case Study

We study quasiperiodic very low frequency (VLF) emissions observed simultaneously by Van Allen Probes spacecraft and Kannuslehto and Lovozero ground-based stations on 25 December 2015. Both Van Allen Probes A and B detected quasiperiodic emissions, probably originated from a common source, and observed on the ground. In order to locate possible regions of wave generation, we analyze wave-normal angles with respect to the geomagnetic field, Poynting flux direction, and cyclotron instability growth rate calculated by using the measured phase space density of energetic electrons. We demonstrate that even parallel wave propagation and proper (downward) Poynting flux direction are not sufficient for claiming observations to be in the source region. Agreement between the growth rate and emission bands was obtained for a restricted part of Van Allen Probe A trajectory corresponding to localized enhancement of plasma density with scale of 700 km. We employ spacecraft density data to build a model plasma profile and to calculate ray trajectories from the point of wave detection in space to the ionosphere and examine the possibility of their propagation toward the ground. For the considered event, the wave could propagate toward the ground in the geomagnetic flux tube with enhanced plasma density, which ensured ducted propagation. The region of wave exit was confirmed by the analysis of wave propagation direction at the ground detection point.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages
Date Published