Probing the relationship between electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves and plasmaspheric plumes near geosynchronous orbit

Plasmaspheric plumes created during disturbed geomagnetic conditions have been suggested as a major cause of increased occurrences of electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves at these times. We have catalogued occurrences of strong Pc1 EMIC waves from 1996 through 2003 at three automated geophysical observatories operated by the British Antarctic Survey at auroral zone latitudes in Antarctica (L = 6.28, 7.68, and 8.07) and have compared them to the occurrence of plasmaspheric plumes in space, using simultaneous data from the Magnetospheric Plasma Analyzer on the Los Alamos National Laboratory 1990-095 spacecraft, in geosynchronous orbit at the same magnetic longitude. A superposed epoch analysis of these data was conducted for several categories of disturbed geomagnetic conditions, including magnetic storms, high-speed streams, and storm sudden commencements. We found only a weak correspondence between the occurrence of strong Pc1 waves observed on the ground and either plasmaspheric plumes or intervals of extended plasmasphere at geosynchronous orbit before, during, or after the onset of any of these categories. Strong Pc1 activity peaked near or slightly after local noon during all storm phases, consistent with equatorial observations by the Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers/Charge Composition Explorer satellite at these L shells. The highest Pc1 occurrence probability was at or 1-2 days before storm onset and during the late recovery phase. Occurrence was lowest during the early recovery phase, consistent with the decrease in solar wind pressure often seen at this time. The peak at onset is consistent with earlier observations of waves in the outer magnetosphere stimulated by sudden impulses and magnetospheric compressions.


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Authors: Posch, J.L., Engebretson, M.J., Murphy, M.T., Denton, M.H., Lessard, M.R., Horne, R.B. ORCIDORCID record for R.B. Horne

On this site: Richard Horne
11 November, 2010
Journal of Geophysical Research / 115
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