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Oblique propagation of whistler mode waves in the chorus source region

Oblique propagation of whistler mode waves in the chorus source region

Publication date: 15 December 2009

Authors: Santolík, O., et al.

Journal: J. Geophys. Res.
Volume: 114
Year: 2009

Copyright: American Geophysical Union

Whistler mode chorus has been shown to play a role in the process of local acceleration of electrons in the outer Van Allen radiation belt. Most of the quasi-linear and nonlinear theoretical studies assume that the waves propagate parallel to the terrestrial magnetic field. We show a case where this assumption is invalid. We use data from the Cluster spacecraft to characterize propagation and spectral properties of chorus. The recorded high-resolution waveforms show that chorus in the source region can be formed by a succession of discrete wave packets with decreasing frequency that sometimes change into shapeless hiss. These changes occur at the same time in the entire source region. Multicomponent measurements show that waves in both these regimes can be found at large angles to the terrestrial magnetic field. The hiss intervals contain waves propagating less than one tenth of a degree from the resonance cone. In the regime of discrete wave packets the peak of the wave energy density is found at a few degrees from the resonance cone in a broad interval of azimuth angles. The wave intensity increases with the distance from the magnetic field minimum along a given field line, indicating a gradual amplification of chorus in the source region.

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