Wave-particle interactions in the equatorial source region of whistler-mode emissions

Wave-particle interactions can play a key role in the process of transfer of energy between different electron populations in the outer Van Allen radiation belt. We present a case study of wave-particle interactions in the equatorial source region of whistler-mode emissions. We select measurements of the Cluster spacecraft when these emissions are observed in the form of random hiss with only occasional discrete chorus wave packets, and where the wave propagation properties are very similar to previously analyzed cases of whistler-mode chorus. We observe a positive divergence of the Poynting flux at minima of the magnetic field modulus along the magnetic field lines, indicating the central position of the source. In this region we perform a linear stability analysis based on the locally measured electron phase space densities. We find two unstable electron populations. The first of them consists of energy-dispersed and highly anisotropic injected electrons at energies of a few hundreds eV to a few keV, with the perpendicular temperature more than 10 times higher than the parallel temperature with respect to the magnetic field line. Another unstable population is formed by trapped electrons at energies above 10 keV. We show that the injected electrons at lower energies can be responsible for a part of the waves that propagate obliquely at frequencies above one half of the electron cyclotron frequency. Our model of the trapped electrons at higher energies gives insufficient growth of the waves below one half of the electron cyclotron frequency and a nonlinear generation mechanism might be necessary to explain their presence even in this simple case.


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Authors: Santolik, O., Gurnett, D.A., Pickett, J.S., Grimald, S., Decreau, P.M.E., Parrot, M., Cornilleau-Wehrlin, N., El-Lemdani Mazouz, F., Schriver, D., Meredith, N.P. ORCIDORCID record for N.P. Meredith, Fazakerley, A.

On this site: Nigel Meredith
1 August, 2010
Journal of Geophysical Research / 115
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