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Found 10 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 10


Evidence of Alfvenic Poynting flux as the primary driver of auroral motion during a geomagnetic substorm

Abstract Geomagnetic substorms are major energy transfer events where energy stored in the Earths magnetotail is released into the ionosphere. Substorm phenomena, including auroral activities, earthward Poynting flux, magnetic field dipolarization, etc, have been extensively studied. However, the complex interplay among them is not fully understood. In a fortuitous event on June 07, 2013, the twin Van Allen Probes (separated by 0.4 hour in local time) observed bursts of earthward Alfvenic Poynting flux in the vicinity of the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL). The Poynting flux bursts correlate with enhancements of auroral brightness around the footpoints of both spacecraft. This indicates a temporal and spatial correlation between the auroral brightening and Poynting flux bursts, and that the auroral motion is directly linked to the perpendicular expansion of the Alfven wave. These observations suggest that the Alfvenic Poynting flux is a primary driver for the auroral electron acceleration. Around the time of auroral brightening, a dipolarization was seen to propagate more than 4 hours in local time during a 20 min period. The azimuthal phase speed of this dipolarization (2 deg/min) is too small to explain the azimuthal motion of the aurora (13.6 deg/min), but the dipolarization could be related to the generation of the Alfvenic Poynting flux through phase mixing at strong density gradients like those in the PSBL. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Tian, S.; Colpitts, C.; Wygant, J.; Cattell, C.; Ferradas, C.; Igl, A.; Larsen, B.; Reeves, G.; Donovan, E.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Poynting flux; auroral physics; discrete arc; Dipolarization; Alfven waves; Van Allen Probes

ULF Wave Driven Radial Diffusion During Geomagnetic Storms: A statistical analysis of Van Allen Probes observations

Abstract The impact of radial diffusion in storm time radiation belt dynamics is well-debated. In this study we quantify the changes and variability in radial diffusion coefficients during geomagnetic storms. A statistical analysis of Van Allen Probes data (2012 − 2019) is conducted to obtain measurements of the magnetic and electric power spectral densities for Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) waves, and corresponding radial diffusion coefficients. The results show global wave power enhancements occur during the storm main phase, and continue into the recovery phase. Local time asymmetries show sources of wave power are both external solar wind driving and internal sources from coupling with ring current ions and substorms. Wave power enhancements are also observed at low L values (L < 4). The accessibility of wave power to low L is attributed to a depression of the Alfvén continuum. The increased wave power drives enhancements in both the magnetic and electric field diffusion coefficients by more than an order of magnitude. Significant variability in diffusion coefficients is observed, with values ranging over several orders of magnitude. A comparison to the Kp parameterised empirical model of Ozeke et al. (2014) is conducted and indicates important differences during storm times. Although the electric field diffusion coefficient is relatively well described by the empirical model, the magnetic field diffusion coefficient is approximately ∼ 10 times larger than predicted. We discuss how differences could be attributed to dataset limitations and assumptions. Alternative storm-time radial diffusion coefficients are provided as a function of L* and storm phase.

Sandhu, J.; Rae, I.; Wygant, J.; Breneman, A.; Tian, S.; Watt, C.; Horne, R.; Ozeke, L.; Georgiou, M.; Walach, M.-T.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

ULF waves; radial diffusion; outer radiation belt; Van Allen Probes; Geomagnetic storms

Determining the Temporal and Spatial Coherence of Plasmaspheric Hiss Waves in the Magnetosphere

Abstract Plasmaspheric hiss is one of the most important plasma waves in the Earth s magnetosphere to contribute to radiation belt dynamics by pitch-angle scattering energetic electrons via wave-particle interactions. There is growing evidence that the temporal and spatial variability of wave-particle interactions are important factors in the construction of diffusion-based models of the radiation belts. Hiss amplitudes are thought to be coherent across large distances and on long timescales inside the plasmapause, which means that hiss can act on radiation belt electrons throughout their drift trajectories for many hours. In this study, we investigate both the spatial and temporal coherence of plasmaspheric hiss between the two Van Allen Probes from November 2012 to July 2019. We find ∼3,264 events where we can determine the correlation of wave amplitudes as a function of both spatial distance and time lag in order to study the spatial and temporal coherence of plasmaspheric hiss. The statistical results show that both the spatial and temporal correlation of plasmaspheric hiss decrease with increasing L-shell, and become incoherent at L > ∼4.5. Inside of L = ∼4.5, we find that hiss is coherent to within a spatial extent of up to ∼1,500 km and a time lag up to ∼10 min. We find that the spatial and temporal coherence of plasmaspheric hiss does not depend strongly on the geomagnetic index (AL*) or magnetic local time. We discuss the ramifications of our results with relevance to understanding the global characteristics of plasmaspheric hiss waves and their role in radiation belt dynamics.

Zhang, Shuai; Rae, Jonathan; Watt, Clare; Degeling, Alexander; Tian, Anmin; Shi, Quanqi; Shen, Xiao-Chen; Smith, Andy; Wang, Mengmeng;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 02/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Van Allen Probes


Detection of Hertz Frequency Multiharmonic Field Line Resonances at Low-L (L = 1.1–1.5) During Van Allen Probe Perigee Passes

We present new and previously unreported in situ observations of Hertz frequency multiharmonic mode field line resonances detected by the Electric Field and Waves instrument on-board the NASA Van Allen probes during low-L perigee passes. Spectral analysis of the spin-plane electric field data reveals the waves in numerous perigee passes, in sequential passes of probes A and B, and with harmonic frequency structures from ∼0.5 to 3.5 Hz which vary with L-shell, altitude, and from day-to-day. Comparing the observations to wave models using plasma mass density values along the field line given by empirical power laws and from the International Reference Ionosphere model, we conclude that the waves are standing Alfvén field line resonances and that only odd-mode harmonics are excited. The model eigenfrequencies are strongly controlled by the density close to the apex of the field line, suggesting a new diagnostic for equatorial ionospheric density dynamics.

Lena, F.; Ozeke, L.; Wygant, J.; Tian, S.; Breneman, A.; Mann, I.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 12/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

Field line resonance; Ionosphere; magneto-seismology; Magnetosphere; plasmasphere; standing Alfvén waves; Van Allen Probes


Identifying STEVE\textquoterights Magnetospheric Driver Using Conjugate Observations in the Magnetosphere and on the Ground

The magnetospheric driver of strong thermal emission velocity enhancement (STEVE) is investigated using conjugate observations when Van Allen Probes\textquoteright footprint directly crossed both STEVE and stable red aurora (SAR) arc. In the ionosphere, STEVE is associated with subauroral ion drift features, including electron temperature peak, density gradient, and westward ion flow. The SAR arc at lower latitudes corresponds to regions inside the plasmapause with isotropic plasma heating, which causes redline-only SAR emission via heat conduction. STEVE corresponds to the sharp plasmapause boundary containing quasi-static subauroral ion drift electric field and parallel-accelerated electrons by kinetic Alfv\ en waves. These parallel electrons could precipitate and be accelerated via auroral acceleration processes powered by Alfv\ en waves propagating along the magnetic field with the plasmapause as a waveguide. The electron precipitation, superimposed on the heat conduction, could explain multiwavelength continuous STEVE emission. The green picket-fence emissions are likely optical manifestations of electron precipitation associated with wave structures traveling along the plasmapause.

Chu, Xiangning; Malaspina, David; Gallardo-Lacourt, Bea; Liang, Jun; Andersson, Laila; Ma, Qianli; Artemyev, Anton; Liu, Jiang; Ergun, Robert; Thaller, Scott; Akbari, Hassanali; Zhao, Hong; Larsen, Brian; Reeves, Geoffrey; Wygant, John; Breneman, Aaron; Tian, Sheng; Connors, Martin; Donovan, Eric; Archer, William; MacDonald, Elizabeth;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 11/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019GL082789

aurora; kinetic Alfven wave; Plasmapause; STEVE; subauroral ion drift; table red auroral arc; Van Allen Probes

Solar rotation period driven modulations of plasmaspheric density and convective electric field in the inner magnetosphere

This paper presents the first analysis of Van Allen Probes measurements of the cold plasma density and electric field in the inner magnetosphere to show that intervals of strong modulation at the solar rotation period occur in the locations of the outer plasmasphere and plasmapause (~0.7 RE peak-to-peak), in the large-scale electric field (~0.24 mV/m peak-to-peak), and in the cold plasma density (~250 cm-3 \textendash ~70 cm-3 peak-to-peak). Solar rotation modulation of the inner magnetosphere is more apparent in the declining phase of the solar cycle than near solar maximum. The periodicities in these parameters are compared to solar EUV irradiance, solar wind dawn-dusk electric field, and Kp. The variations in the plasmapause location at the solar rotation period anti-correlate with solar wind electric field, magnetospheric electric field, and Kp, but not with EUV irradiance, indicating that convective erosion is the dominant physical process controlling the plasmapause at these timescales.

Thaller, S.; Wygant, J.; Cattell, C.; Breneman, A.; Tyler, E.; Tian, S.; Engel, A.; De Pascuale, S.; Kurth, W.; Kletzing, C.; Tears, J.; Malaspina, David;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 02/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026365

convection electric field; inner magnetosphere; Plasmapause; plasmasphere; solar rotation; Van Allen Probes


MMS, Van Allen Probes, GOES 13, and Ground Based Magnetometer Observations of EMIC Wave Events Before, During, and After a Modest Interplanetary Shock

The stimulation of EMIC waves by a magnetospheric compression is perhaps the closest thing to a controlled experiment that is currently possible in magnetospheric physics, in that one prominent factor that can increase wave growth acts at a well-defined time. We present a detailed analysis of EMIC waves observed in the outer dayside magnetosphere by the four Magnetosphere Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft, Van Allen Probe A, and GOES 13, and by four very high latitude ground magnetometer stations in the western hemisphere before, during, and after a modest interplanetary shock on December 14, 2015. Analysis shows several features consistent with current theory, as well as some unexpected features. During the most intense MMS wave burst, which began ~ 1 min after the end of a brief magnetosheath incursion, independent transverse EMIC waves with orthogonal linear polarizations appeared simultaneously at all four spacecraft. He++ band EMIC waves were observed by MMS inside the magnetosphere, whereas almost all previous studies of He++ band EMIC waves observed them only in the magnetosheath and magnetopause boundary layers. Transverse EMIC waves also appeared at Van Allen Probe A and GOES 13 very near the times when the magnetic field compression reached their locations, indicating that the compression lowered the instability threshold to allow for EMIC wave generation throughout the outer dayside magnetosphere. The timing of the EMIC waves at both MMS and Van Allen Probe A was consistent with theoretical expectations for EMIC instabilities based on characteristics of the proton distributions observed by instruments on these spacecraft.

Engebretson, M.; Posch, J.; Capman, N.; Campuzano, N.; elik, P.; Allen, R.; Vines, S.; Anderson, B.; Tian, S.; Cattell, C.; Wygant, J.; Fuselier, S.; Argall, M.; Lessard, M.; Torbert, R.; Moldwin, M.; Hartinger, M.; Kim, H.; Russell, C.; Kletzing, C.; Reeves, G.; Singer, H.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025984

Van Allen Probes


Dayside response of the magnetosphere to a small shock compression: Van Allen Probes, Magnetospheric MultiScale, and GOES-13

Observations from Magnetospheric MultiScale (~8 Re) and Van Allen Probes (~5 and 4 Re) show that the initial dayside response to a small interplanetary shock is a double-peaked dawnward electric field, which is distinctly different from the usual bipolar (dawnward and then duskward) signature reported for large shocks. The associated ExB flow is radially inward. The shock compressed the magnetopause to inside 8 Re, as observed by MMS, with a speed that is comparable to the ExB flow. The magnetopause speed and the ExB speeds were significantly less than the propagation speed of the pulse from MMS to the Van Allen Probes and GOES-13, which is consistent with the MHD fast mode. There were increased fluxes of energetic electrons up to several MeV. Signatures of drift echoes and response to ULF waves also were seen. These observations demonstrate that even very weak shocks can have significant impact on the radiation belts.

Cattell, C.; Breneman, A.; Colpitts, C.; Dombeck, J.; Thaller, S.; Tian, S.; Wygant, J.; Fennell, J.; Hudson, M.; Ergun, Robert; Russell, C.; Torbert, Roy; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Burch, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074895

electric field response; interplanetary shock; magnetopause; Radiation belt; Van Allen Probes

Statistical study of the storm-time radiation belt evolution during Van Allen Probes era: CME- versus CIR-driven storms

CME- or CIR-driven storms can change the electron distributions in the radiation belt dramatically, which can in turn affect the spacecraft in this region or induce geomagnetic effects. The Van Allen Probes twin spacecraft, launched on 30 August 2012, orbit near the equatorial plane and across a wide range of L* with apogee at 5.8 RE and perigee at 620 km. Electron data from Van Allen Probes MagEIS and REPT instruments have been binned every six hours at L*=3 (defined as 2.5

Shen, Xiao-Chen; Hudson, Mary; Jaynes, Allison; Shi, Quanqi; Tian, Anmin; Claudepierre, Seth; Qin, Mu-Rong; Zong, Qiu-Gang; Sun, Wei-Jie;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 07/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024100

CIR-driven storm; CME-driven storm; outer radiation belt; Van Allen Probes


Van Allen Probes observations of cross-scale coupling between electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves and higher-frequency wave modes

We present observations of higher-frequency (~50\textendash2500 Hz, ~0.1\textendash0.7 fce) wave modes modulated at the frequency of colocated lower frequency (0.5\textendash2 Hz, on the order of fci) waves. These observations come from the Van Allen Probes Electric Field and Waves instrument\textquoterights burst mode data and represent the first observations of coupling between waves in these frequency ranges. The higher-frequency wave modes, typically whistler mode hiss and chorus or magnetosonic waves, last for a few to a few tens of seconds but are in some cases observed repeatedly over several hours. The higher-frequency waves are observed to be unmodulated before and after the presence of the electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves, but when the EMIC waves are present, the amplitude of the higher-frequency waves drops to the instrument noise level once every EMIC wave cycle. Such modulation could significantly impact wave-particle interactions such as acceleration and pitch angle scattering, which are crucial in the formation and depletion of the radiation belts. We present one case study with broadband, high-frequency waves observed to be modulated by EMIC waves repeatedly over a 2 h time span on both spacecraft. Finally, we show two additional case studies where other high-frequency wave modes exhibit similar modulation.

Colpitts, C.; Cattell, C.; Engebretson, M.; Broughton, M.; Tian, S.; Wygant, J.; Breneman, A.; Thaller, S.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 11/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071566

EMIC; Modulation; precipitation; Radiation belt; Van Allen Probes; wave; whistler