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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 30, issue 9
Ann. Geophys., 30, 1309–1314, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-30-1309-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 30, 1309–1314, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-30-1309-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 03 Sep 2012

Regular paper | 03 Sep 2012

Oxygen ion energization by waves in the high altitude cusp and mantle

M. Waara1, H. Nilsson1, R. Slapak1, M. André2, and G. Stenberg1 M. Waara et al.
  • 1Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden
  • 2Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract. We present a comparative study of low frequency electric field spectral densities and temperatures observed by the Cluster spacecraft in the high altitude cusp/mantle region. We compare the relation between the O+ temperature and wave intensity at the oxygen gyrofrequency at each measurement point and find a clear correlation. The trend of the correlation agrees with the predictions by both an asymptotic mean-particle theory and a test-particle approach. The perpendicular to parallel temperature ratio is also consistent with the predictions of the asymptotic mean-particle theory. At times the perpendicular temperature is significantly higher than predicted by the models. A simple study of the evolution of the particle distributions (conics) at these altitudes indicates that enhanced perpendicular temperatures would be observed over many RE after heating ceases. Therefore, sporadic intense heating is the likely explanation for cases with high temperature and comparably low wave activity. We observe waves of sufficient amplitude to explain the highest observed temperatures, while the theory in general overestimates the temperature associated with the highest observed wave activity, indicating that such high wave activity is very sporadic.

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