GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 35, L16106, doi:10.1029/2008GL034804, 2008

Observations of relativistic electron precipitation from the radiation belts driven by EMIC waves

C. J. Rodger1, T. Raita2, M. A. Clilverd3, A. Seppälä3, S. Dietrich1, N. R. Thomson1, Th.Ulich2

1Dept. of Physics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand,
2Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Sodankylä, Finland,
3British Antarctic Survey (NERC), Cambridge, U.K.


For some time theoretical modeling has shown that electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves should play an important role in the loss of relativistic electrons from the radiation belts, through precipitation into the atmosphere. Up to now there has been limited experimental evidence for relativistic electron precipitation driven by EMIC waves. In this paper we present case studies of events showing EMIC waves, observed by ground-based pulsation magnetometers, which are linked to strong responses in a subionospheric precipitation monitor. This response is consistent with precipitation occurring near the plasmapause, where EMIC waves may resonate with relativistic electrons. At the same time there is only a weak response in a co-located riometer chain, as expected for relativistic electron precipitation that penetrates deeply into the atmosphere.

© 2008 by the American Geophysical Union. Further electronic publication not allowed.

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