Articles | Volume 24, issue 2
23 Mar 2006
 | 23 Mar 2006

Relationship between low-frequency electric-field fluctuations and ion conics around the cusp/cleft region

W. Miyake, A. Matsuoka, and T. Mukai

Abstract. We investigated the relationship between low-frequency (0.2-4.0 Hz) electric-field fluctuations (LEFs) and ion conics around the dayside cusp/cleft region in the altitude range from 5000 to 10000km from observations made by the Akebono satellite. Ion conics were generally associated with intense LEFs. We found a significant correlation between the power spectral density of LEFs at any frequency and the energy of simultaneously observed ion conics. Ion conics with a conic angle near 90 deg and those more aligned with magnetic field lines both had an equivalent correlation with the local intensity of the LEFs. The LEFs associated with near-perpendicular ion conics were, however, generally more intense than those associated with folded conics. The difference was clearer for low-energy conics. These results are in agreement with a scenario of height-integrated heating of ions and energization of ions by electromagnetic energy supplied by local LEFs. Ions generally stay in the energization region during their upward motion along the field line, so that more folded ion conics with weak energization reach the same energy level as near-perpendicular conics with strong energization, due to the difference in integration time. The limit on residence time in the intense heating region causes the clearer difference for low-energy conics. We set up a simple model to examine the relationship between the energization rate and the evolution of ion conics along the field lines, and obtained good agreement with the observation results.