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Whistler mode wave growth and propagation in the prenoon magnetosphere

Watt, C. E. J., Rankin, R. and Degeling, A. W. (2012) Whistler mode wave growth and propagation in the prenoon magnetosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117. A06205. ISSN 0148-0227

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2012JA017765

Abstract/Summary

Pitch-angle scattering of electrons can limit the stably trapped particle flux in the magnetosphere and precipitate energetic electrons into the ionosphere. Whistler-mode waves generated by a temperature anisotropy can mediate this pitch-angle scattering over a wide range of radial distances and latitudes, but in order to correctly predict the phase-space diffusion, it is important to characterise the whistler-mode wave distributions that result from the instability. We use previously-published observations of number density, pitch-angle anisotropy and phase space density to model the plasma in the quiet pre-noon magnetosphere (defined as periods when AE<100nT). We investigate the global propagation and growth of whistler-mode waves by studying millions of growing ray paths and demonstrate that the wave distribution at any one location is a superposition of many waves at different points along their trajectories and with different histories. We show that for observed electron plasma properties, very few raypaths undergo magnetospheric reflection, most rays grow and decay within 30 degrees of the magnetic equator. The frequency range of the wave distribution at large L can be adequately described by the solutions of the local dispersion relation, but the range of wavenormal angle is different. The wave distribution is asymmetric with respect to the wavenormal angle. The numerical results suggest that it is important to determine the variation of magnetospheric parameters as a function of latitude, as well as local time and L-shell.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:32797
Uncontrolled Keywords:chorus; hiss; phase space diffusion; pitch angle scattering; trough
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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