Precipitation of radiation belt electrons by EMIC waves, observed from ground and space

Authors


Abstract

[1] We show evidence that left-hand polarised electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) plasma waves can cause the loss of relativistic electrons into the atmosphere. Our unique set of ground and satellite observations shows coincident precipitation of ions with energies of tens of keV and of relativistic electrons into an isolated proton aurora. The coincident precipitation was produced by wave-particle interactions with EMIC waves near the plasmapause. The estimation of pitch angle diffusion coefficients supports that the observed EMIC waves caused coincident precipitation of both ions and relativistic electrons. This study clarifies that ions with energies of tens of keV affect the evolution of relativistic electrons in the radiation belts via cyclotron resonance with EMIC waves, an effect that was first theoretically predicted in the early 1970′s.

Ancillary