University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
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Cynthia Cattell

Observation of relativistic electron microbursts in conjunction with intense radiation belt whistler-mode waves
K. Kersten, Cynthia Cattell , Aaron Breneman , Keith Goetz , Paul Kellogg , Lynn Wilson III , John Wygant , J. Blake , Mark Looper , Ilan Roth, Geophysical Research Letters

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We present multi‐satellite observations of large amplitude radiation belt whistler‐mode waves and relativistic electron precipitation. On separate occasions during the Wind petal orbits and STEREO phasing orbits, Wind and STEREO recorded intense whistler‐mode waves in the outer nightside equatorial radiation belt with peak‐to‐peak amplitudes exceeding 300 mV/m. During these intervals of intense wave activity, SAMPEX recorded relativistic electron microbursts in near magnetic conjunction with Wind and STEREO. This evidence of microburst precipitation occurring at the same time and at nearly the same magnetic local time and L‐shell with a bursty temporal structure similar to that of the observed large amplitude wave packets suggests a causal connection between the two phenomena. Simulation studies corroborate this idea, showing that nonlinear wave–particle interactions may result in rapid energization and scattering on timescales comparable to those of the impulsive relativistic electron precipitation.