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Effect of EMIC Wave Normal Angle Distribution on Relativistic Electron ScatteringThe flux level of outer-zone relativistic electrons (above 1 MeV) is extremely variable during geomagnetic storms, and controlled by a competition between acceleration and loss. Precipitation of these electrons due to resonant pitch-angle scattering by electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves is considered one of the major loss mechanisms. This mechanism was suggested in early theoretical studies more than three decades ago. However, direct experimental evidence of the wave role in relativistic electrons precipitation is difficult to obtain because of lack of concurrent measurements of precipitating electrons at low altitudes and the waves in a magnetically conjugate equatorial region. Recently, the data from balloon-borne X-ray instruments provided indirect but strong evidence on an efficiency of the EMIC wave induced loss for the outer-zone relativistic electrons. These observations stimulated theoretical studies that, particularly, demonstrated that EMIC wave induced pitch-angle diffusion of MeV electrons can operate in the strong diffusion limit and this mechanism can compete with relativistic electron depletion caused by the Dst effect during the initial and main phases of storm. Although an effectiveness of relativistic electron scattering by EMIC waves depends strongly on the wave spectral properties, the most favorable assumptions regarding wave characteristics has been made in all previous theoretical studies. Particularly, only quasi field-aligned EMIC waves have been considered as a driver for relativistic electron loss. At the same time, there is growing experimental and theoretical evidence that these waves can be highly oblique; EMIC wave energy can occupy not only the region of generation, i.e. the region of small wave normal angles, but also the entire wave normal angle region, and even only the region near 90 degrees. The latter can dramatically change he effectiveness of relativistic electron scattering by EMIC waves. In the present study, we calculate the pitch-angle diffusion coefficients using the typical wave normal distributions obtained from our self-consistent ring current-EMIC wave model, and try to quantify the effect of EMIC wave normal angle characteristics on relativistic electron scattering.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gamayunov, K. V. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Khazanov, G. V. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
December 15, 2006
Subject Category
Plasma Physics
Meeting Information
2006 Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting(San Francisco, CA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.