Spatial localization and ducting of EMIC waves: Van Allen Probes and ground-based observations

I. R. Mann, M. E. Usanova, K. Murphy, M. T. Robertson, D. K. Milling, A. Kale, C. Kletzing, J. Wygant, S. Thaller, T. Raita

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On 11 October 2012, during the recovery phase of a moderate geomagnetic storm, an extended interval (> 18 h) of continuous electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves was observed by Canadian Array for Real-time Investigations of Magnetic Activity and Solar-Terrestrial Environment Program induction coil magnetometers in North America. At around 14:15 UT, both Van Allen Probes B and A (65° magnetic longitude apart) in conjunction with the ground array observed very narrow (ΔL ~ 0.1-0.4) left-hand polarized EMIC emission confined to regions of mass density gradients at the outer edge of the plasmasphere at L ~ 4. EMIC waves were seen with complex polarization patterns on the ground, in good agreement with model results from Woodroffe and Lysak (2012) and consistent with Earth's rotation sweeping magnetometer stations across multiple polarization reversals in the fields in the Earth-ionosphere duct. The narrow L-widths explain the relative rarity of space-based EMIC occurrence, ground-based measurements providing better estimates of global EMIC wave occurrence for input into radiation belt dynamical models. Key Points Continuous EMIC waves confined to narrow L-shells near plasma density gradients The narrow L-widths explains low in-situ EMIC occurrence Ground measurements provide better estimates of global EMIC wave occurrence

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)785-792
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 16 2014


  • Ducting
  • EMIC waves
  • Ground observations
  • MLT extent
  • Spatial width
  • Van Allen Probes


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