Evidence of sub‐MeV EMIC‐driven trapped electron flux dropouts from GPS observations

For many years, it was believed that resonant interactions between electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves and radiation belt electrons were restricted to electron energies > 1 − 2 MeV. In recent years, however, a growing body of experimental evidence has shown that EMIC waves can cause the scattering loss of electrons down to sub‐MeV energies. Using measurements of trapped electron flux from the GPS satellite constellation, we investigate the ability of EMIC waves to cause significant depletions of radiation belt electron populations between 4 ≤ L* ≤ 5. For the first time, we present statistical evidence demonstrating global decreases in sub‐MeV trapped electron flux in response to EMIC wave activity. Although we find that electron losses extend down to sub‐MeV energies, we also show strong statistical support for the ability of EMIC waves to preferentially cause substantial depletions of ultra‐relativistic electrons in the radiation belts.


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Authors: Hendry, A.T., Rodger, C.J., Clilverd, M.A. ORCIDORCID record for M.A. Clilverd, Morley, S.K.

On this site: Mark Clilverd
16 May, 2021
Geophysical Research Letters / 48
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