Chorus-driven resonant scattering of diffuse auroral electrons in nondipolar magnetic fields

We perform a comprehensive analysis of resonant scattering of diffuse auroral electrons by oblique nightside chorus emissions present along a field line with an equatorial crossing of 6 R(E) at 00: 00 MLT, using various nondipolar Tsyganenko magnetic field models. Bounce-averaged quasi-linear diffusion coefficients are evaluated for both moderately and actively disturbed geomagnetic conditions using the T89, T96, and T01s models. The results indicate that inclusion of nondipolar magnetic field leads to significant changes in bounce-averaged rates of both pitch angle and momentum diffusion for 200 eV to 10 keV plasma sheet electrons. Compared to the results using a dipole field, the rates of pitch angle diffusion obtained using the Tsyganenko models are enhanced at all resonant pitch angles for 200 eV electrons. In contrast, for 500 eV to 10 keV electrons the rates of pitch angle scattering are enhanced at intermediate and/or high pitch angles but tend to be considerably lower near the loss cone, thus reducing the precipitation loss compared to that in a dipole field. Upper band chorus acts as the dominant cause for scattering loss of 200 eV to 2 keV electrons, while lower band chorus scattering prevails for 5-10 keV electrons, consistent with the results using the dipole model. The first-order cyclotron resonance and the Landau resonance are mainly responsible for the net scattering rates of plasma sheet electrons by oblique chorus waves and also primarily account for the differences in bounce-averaged diffusion coefficients introduced by the use of Tsyganenko models. As the geomagnetic activity increases, the differences in scattering rates compared to the dipole results increase accordingly. Nonnegligible differences also occur particularly at high pitch angles for the diffusion rates between the Tsyganenko models, showing an increase with geomagnetic activity level and a dependence on the discrepancy between the Tsyganenko model fields. The strong dependence of bounce-averaged quasi-linear scattering rates on the adopted global magnetic field model and geomagnetic activity level demonstrates that realistic magnetic field models should be incorporated into future modeling efforts to accurately quantify the role of magnetospheric chorus in driving the diffuse auroral precipitation and the formation of electron pancake distributions.


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Authors: Ni, Binbin, Thorne, Richard M., Shprits, Yuri Y., Orlova, Ksenia G., Meredith, Nigel P. ORCIDORCID record for Nigel P. Meredith

On this site: Nigel Meredith
1 June, 2011
Journal of Geophysical Research / 116
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