Statistical properties of low-frequency plasmaspheric hiss

David M. Malaspina, Allison N. Jaynes, George Hospodarsky, Jacob Bortnik, Robert E. Ergun, John Wygant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Plasmaspheric hiss is an important wave mode for the dynamics of inner terrestrial magnetosphere plasma populations. It acts to scatter high-energy electrons out of trapped orbits about Earth and into the atmosphere, defining the inner edge of the radiation belts over a range of energies. A low-frequency component of hiss was recently identified and is important for its ability to interact with higher-energy electrons compared to typically considered hiss frequencies. This study compares the statistical properties of low- and high-frequency plasmaspheric hiss in the terrestrial magnetosphere, demonstrating that they are statistically distinct wave populations. Low-frequency hiss shows different behavior in frequency space, different spatial localization (in magnetic local time and radial distance), and different amplitude distributions compared to high-frequency hiss. The observed statistical properties of low-frequency hiss are found to be consistent with recently developed theories for low-frequency hiss generation. The results presented here suggest that careful consideration of low-frequency hiss properties can be important for accurate inclusion of this wave population in predictive models of inner magnetosphere plasma dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8340-8352
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

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©2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • Van Allen Probes
  • inner magnetosphere
  • plasma waves
  • plasmaspheric hiss
  • wave statistics


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