Large Scale ULF Waves and Energetic Particles in the Earth's Magnetosphere

  • Author / Creator
    Lee, Eun Ah
  • In this thesis we examine the generation mechanisms of Pc 5 ULF waves during geomagnetic storms. Also, we study the interaction between Pc 5 ULF waves and energetic particles in the radiation belts and the observed energetic particle flux modulation by Pc 5 ULF waves is verified using particle simulations. Firstly, we present case studies of Pc 5 pulsations using ground-based magnetometer and satellite data during geomagnetic storm times, specifically we selecting three storm time events which show a brief increase in Dst in the main phase of the storms. By studying these events, we attempt to identify the generation mechanisms responsible for the geomagnetic pulsations. The observed pulsations exhibit the characteristic features of a Field Line Resonance. Our results also show evidence for the penetration of ULF wave power in the Pc 5 band to much lower L-shells than normal, suggesting significant reduction of the local Alfven eigenfrequency continuum as compared to non-storm times. This may have considerable significance for the interaction between ULF waves and MeV electrons in the outer radiation belt during storms. Secondly, based on the hypothesis that Pc 5 ULF waves may play an important role in energetic particle dynamics in the radiation belt and ring current, we investigated the relationship between Pc 5 pulsations and energetic particle flux oscillations. We observed very strong Pc 5 oscillations during the great magnetic storm of March 24, 1991 [Lee et al., 2007] and electron flux simultaneously oscillating with the same frequencies in the time domain. We also characterize two more events and present an examination of the relationship between the electron flux modulation and Pc 5 ULF pulsations. Based on our observations, the modulation of energetic particles might be associated with a drift-resonance interaction, or the advection of an energetic particle density gradient. Finally, we numerically calculate the trajectories and energy change of charged particles under the influence of model ULF wave electric fields. This modeling work is used to help to explain the observations and provides evidence which supports the modulation mechanisms such as advection of a flux gradient and drift resonance.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Moritz Heimpel (Physics)
    • Dr. P.T. Jayachandran (Physics, University of New Brunswick, Canada)
    • Dr. Ying Tsui (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
    • Dr. Frances Fenrich (Physics)