“Zipper-like” periodic magnetosonic waves: Van Allen Probes, THEMIS, and magnetospheric multiscale observations

J. Li, J. Bortnik, W. Li, Q. Ma, R. M. Thorne, C. A. Kletzing, W. S. Kurth, G. B. Hospodarsky, J. Wygant, A. Breneman, S. Thaller, H. O. Funsten, D. G. Mitchell, J. W. Manweiler, R. B. Torbert, O. Le Contel, R. E. Ergun, P. A. Lindqvist, K. Torkar, R. NakamuraM. Andriopoulou, C. T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


An interesting form of “zipper-like” magnetosonic waves consisting of two bands of interleaved periodic rising-tone spectra was newly observed by the Van Allen Probes, the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS), and the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) missions. The two discrete bands are distinct in frequency and intensity; however, they maintain the same periodicity which varies in space and time, suggesting that they possibly originate from one single source intrinsically. In one event, the zipper-like magnetosonic waves exhibit the same periodicity as a constant-frequency magnetosonic wave and an electrostatic emission, but the modulation comes from neither density fluctuations nor ULF waves. A statistical survey based on 3.5 years of multisatellite observations shows that zipper-like magnetosonic waves mainly occur on the dawnside to noonside, in a frequency range between 10 fcp and fLHR. The zipper-like magnetosonic waves may provide a new clue to nonlinear excitation or modulation process, while its cause still remains to be fully understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1600-1610
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

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©2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • magnetosonic wave
  • radiation belt
  • rising-tone
  • zipper-like


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