Ion observations from geosynchronous orbit as a proxy for ion cyclotron wave growth during storm times

Academic Article


  • [1] There is still much to be understood about the processes contributing to relativistic electron enhancements and losses in the radiation belts. Wave particle interactions with both whistler and electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves may precipitate or accelerate these electrons. This study examines the relation between EMIC waves and resulting relativistic electron flux levels after geomagnetic storms. A proxy for enhanced EMIC waves is developed using Los Alamos National Laboratory Magnetospheric Plasma Analyzer plasma data from geosynchronous orbit in conjunction with linear theory. In a statistical study using superposed epoch analysis, it is found that for storms resulting in net relativistic electron losses, there is a greater occurrence of enhanced EMIC waves. This is consistent with the hypothesis that EMIC waves are a primary mechanism for the scattering of relativistic electrons and thus cause losses of such particles from the magnetosphere.
  • Authors

  • Blum, Lauren W
  • MacDonald, Elizabeth A
  • Gary, S Peter
  • Thomsen, Michelle F
  • Spence, Harlan
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • October 28, 2009
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • n/a
  • End Page

  • n/a
  • Volume

  • 114
  • Issue

  • A10