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Observations of discrete magnetosonic waves off the magnetic equator

Fast mode magnetosonic waves are typically confined close to the magnetic equator and exhibit harmonic structures at multiples of the local, equatorial proton cyclotron frequency. We report observations of magnetosonic waves well off the equator at geomagnetic latitudes from -16.5\textdegreeto -17.9\textdegree and L shell ~2.7\textendash4.6. The observed waves exhibit discrete spectral structures with multiple frequency spacings. The predominant frequency spacings are ~6 and 9 Hz, neither of which is equal to the local proton cyclotron frequency. Backward ray tracing simulations show that the feature of multiple frequency spacings is caused by propagation from two spatially narrow equatorial source regions located at L ≈ 4.2 and 3.7. The equatorial proton cyclotron frequencies at those two locations match the two observed frequency spacings. Our analysis provides the first observations of the harmonic nature of magnetosonic waves well away from the equatorial region and suggests that the propagation from multiple equatorial sources contributes to these off-equatorial magnetosonic emissions with varying frequency spacings.

Zhima, Zeren; Chen, Lunjin; Fu, Huishan; Cao, Jinbin; Horne, Richard; Reeves, Geoff;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 12/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066255

discrete structure; magnetsonic wave; off-equatorial region


First observation of rising-tone magnetosonic waves

Magnetosonic (MS) waves are linearly polarized emissions confined near the magnetic equator with wave normal angle near 90\textdegree and frequency below the lower hybrid frequency. Such waves, also termed equatorial noise, were traditionally known to be \textquotedbllefttemporally continuous\textquotedblright in their time-frequency spectrogram. Here we show for the first time that MS waves actually have discrete wave elements with rising-tone features in their spectrogram. The frequency sweep rate of MS waves, ~1 Hz/s, is between that of chorus and electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves. For the two events we analyzed, MS waves occur outside the plasmapause and cannot penetrate into the plasmasphere; their power is smaller than that of chorus. We suggest that the rising-tone feature of MS waves is a consequence of nonlinear wave-particle interaction, as is the case with chorus and EMIC waves.

Fu, H.; Cao, J.; Zhima, Z.; Khotyaintsev, Y.; Angelopoulos, V.; ik, O.; Omura, Y.; Taubenschuss, U.; Chen, L.; Huang, S;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 11/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/grl.v41.2110.1002/2014GL061867

discrete; frequency sweep rate; magnetosonic wave; nonlinear wave-particle interaction; Plasmapause; rising tone