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The relationship between the macroscopic state of electrons and the properties of chorus waves observed by the Van Allen Probes

Plasma kinetic theory predicts that a sufficiently anisotropic electron distribution will excite whistler mode waves, which in turn relax the electron distribution in such a way as to create an upper bound on the relaxed electron anisotropy. Here using whistler mode chorus wave and plasma measurements by Van Allen Probes, we confirm that the electron distributions are well constrained by this instability to a marginally stable state in the whistler mode chorus waves generation region. Lower band chorus waves are organized by the electron β||e into two distinct groups: (i) relatively large-amplitude, quasi-parallel waves with inline image and (ii) relatively small-amplitude, oblique waves with inline image. The upper band chorus waves also have enhanced amplitudes close to the instability threshold, with large-amplitude waves being quasi-parallel whereas small-amplitude waves being oblique. These results provide important insight for studying the excitation of whistler mode chorus waves.

Yue, Chao; An, Xin; Bortnik, Jacob; Ma, Qianli; Li, Wen; Thorne, Richard; Reeves, Geoffrey; Gkioulidou, Matina; Mitchell, Donald; Kletzing, Craig;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL070084

beta parallel; electron temperature anisotropy; marginally stable state; oblique waves; quasi-parallel waves; Van Allen Probes; whistler mode chorus waves


Statistical analysis of electron lifetimes at GEO: Comparisons with chorus-driven losses

The population of electrons in the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt increases when the magnetosphere is exposed to high-speed streams of solar wind, coronal mass ejections, magnetic clouds, or other disturbances. After this increase, the number of electrons decays back to approximately the initial population. This study statistically analyzes the lifetimes of the electron at Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) from Los Alamos National Laboratory electron flux data. The decay rate of the electron fluxes are calculated for 14 energies ranging from 24 keV to 3.5 MeV to identify a relationship between the lifetime and energy of the electrons. The statistical data show that electron lifetimes increase with energy. Also, the statistical results show a good agreement up to \~1 MeV with an analytical model of lifetimes, where electron losses are caused by their resonant interaction with oblique chorus waves, using average wave intensities obtained from Cluster statistics. However, above 500 keV, the measured lifetimes increase with energy becomes less steep, almost stopping. This could partly stem from the difficultly of identifying lifetimes larger than 10 days, for high energy, with the methods and instruments of the present study at GEO. It could also result from the departure of the actual geomagnetic field from a dipolar shape, since a compressed field on the dayside should preferentially increase chorus-induced losses at high energies. However, during nearly quiet geomagnetic conditions corresponding to lifetime measurement periods, it is more probably an indication that outward radial diffusion imposes some kind of upper limit on lifetimes of high-energy electrons near geostationary orbit.

Boynton, R.; Balikhin, M.; Mourenas, D.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 08/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA019920

Chorus; electron lifetimes; electron losses; oblique waves