The temporal evolution of electron distributions and associated wave activity following substorm injections in the inner magnetosphere
The temporal evolution of electron distributions and associated wave activity following substorm injections in the inner magnetosphere are investigated using data from the CRRES satellite. Equatorial electron distributions and concomitant wave spectra outside the plasmapause on the nightside of the Earth are studied as a function of time since injection determined from the auroral-electrojet index (AE). The electron cyclotron harmonic (ECH) wave amplitudes are shown to be very sensitive to small modeling errors in the location of the magnetic equator. They are best understood at the ECH equator, defined by the local, maximum in the ECH wave activity in the vicinity of the nominal magnetic equator, suggesting that the ECH equator is a better measure of the location of the true equator. Strong ECH and whistler mode wave amplitudes are associated with the injected distributions and at the ECH equator, in the region 6.0 less than or equal to L < 7.0, exponential fits reveal wave amplitude decay time constants of 6.3+/-1.2 and 4.6+/-0.7 hours, respectively. Pancake electron distributions are seen to develop from injected distributions that are nearly isotropic in velocity space and, in this region, are seen to form on a similar timescale of approximately 4 hours suggesting that both wave types are involved in their production. The timescale for pancake production and wave decay is comparable with the average time interval between substorm events so that the wave-particle interactions are almost continually present in this region leading to a continual supply of electrons to power the diffuse aurora. In the region 3.8 less than or equal to L < 6.0 the timescale for wave decay at the ECH equator is 2.3 +/- 0.6 and 1.1 +/- 0.2 hours for ECH waves and whistler mode waves respectively, although the pancakes in this region show no clear evolution as a function of time.
Authors: Meredith, N.P. ORCID record for N.P. Meredith, Horne, R.B. ORCID record for R.B. Horne, Johnstone, A.D., Anderson, R.R.