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Formation of the mass density peak at the magnetospheric equator triggered by EMIC waves

Abstract We report a simultaneous observation of two band electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves and toroidal Alfvén waves by the Van Allen Probe mission. Through wave frequency analyses, the mass density ρ is found to be locally peaked at the magnetic equator. Perpendicular fluxes of ions (< 100 eV) increase simultaneously with the appearances of EMIC waves, indicating a heating of these ions by EMIC waves. In addition, the measured ion distributions also support the equatorial peak formation, which accords with the result of the frequency analyses. The formation of local mass density peaks at the equator should be due to enhancements of equatorial ion concentrations, which are triggered by EMIC waves’ perpendicular heating on low energy ions.

Xue, Zuxiang; Yuan, Zhigang; Yu, Xiongdong; Shiyong, Huang; Qiao, Zheng;

Published by: Earth and Planetary Physics      Published on: 03/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Toroidal Alfven waves; EMIC waves; magnetoseismology; equatorial mass density peak; Van Allen Probes


Oxygen cyclotron harmonic waves observed by the Van Allen Probes

Fine structured multiple-harmonic electromagnetic emissions at frequencies around the equatorial oxygen cyclotron harmonics are observed by Van Allen Probe A outside the core plasmasphere (L~5) off the magnetic equator (MLAT~-7.5\textdegree) during a magnetic storm. We find that the multiple-harmonic emissions have their PSD peaks at 2~8 equatorial oxygen gyro-harmonics (f~nfO+, n=2~8) while the fundamental mode (n=1) is absent, implying that the harmonic waves are generated near the equator and propagate into the observation region. Additionally these electromagnetic emissions are linear polarized. Different from the equatorial noise emission propagating very obliquely, these emissions have moderate wave normal angles (about 40\textdegree~60\textdegree) which predominately become larger as the harmonic number increases. Considering their frequency and wave normal angle characteristics, it is suggested that these multiple-harmonic emissions might play an important role in the dynamic variation of radiation belt electrons.

Xiongdong, Yu; Zhigang, Yuan; Dedong, Wang; Shiyong, Huang; Haimeng, Li; Tao, Yu; Zheng, Qiao;

Published by: Science China: Earth Sciences      Published on: 03/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1007/s11430-016-9024-3

Oxygen Cyclotron Harmonic Waves; Radiation belt; Ring current ions; Van Allen Probes