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Abstract This paper presents results from a numerical study of the guiding of VLF whistler-mode waves along the ambient magnetic field by the shelf-like density structures observed by the NASA Van Allen Probes satellites in the equatorial plasmasphere. The shelf-duct consists of a homogeneous central part “sandwiched” between two density gradients pointing in the same direction. To the best of our knowledge, this type of whistler ducting has never been identified in observations before. Our investigation is based on simulations of the electron-MHD model, and our goal is to explain the mechanism of providing wave trapping and to reproduce the structure of the observed waves. The main result from this study is that the shelf-like, field-aligned density irregularities can indeed guide whistler-mode waves along the ambient magnetic field with little attenuation, and the parameters of the guided waves are defined by the parameters of the duct. The simulations reproduce the structure of the observed waves reasonably well. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 05/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JA029403
Abstract In this paper, we report the proof of the existence of density ducts in the Earth’s magnetosphere by studying in situ observations of whistler-mode chorus waves using NASA’s Van Allen Probe-A data. Chorus waves, originally excited inside the density ducts with wave normal angles (WNAs) smaller than the Gendrin angle at near equator region, are efficiently confined to a limited area inside density ducts (i.e., ducted regions), and remain with small WNAs as they propagate towards high latitudes. The ducted region becomes narrower for the higher-frequency waves. Chorus waves with WNAs larger than the Gendrin angle are not guided by density ducts. Our study reveals that density ducts can effectively control the property and distribution of chorus waves, and may ultimately regulate electron dynamics in the Earth’s or other planetary radiation belts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 03/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA028814