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Title: Relativistic Electron Precipitation Driven by Nonlinear Resonance With Whistler‐Mode Waves

Electron losses from the outer radiation belt are typically attributed to resonant electron scattering by whistler‐mode waves. Although the quasi‐linear diffusive regime of such scattering is well understood, the observed waves are often quite intense and in the nonlinear regime of resonant wave‐particle interaction. Such nonlinear resonant interactions are still being actively studied due to their potential for driving fast precipitation. However, direct observations of nonlinear resonance of whistler‐mode waves with electron distributions are scarce. Here, we present evidence for such resonance with high‐resolution electron energy and pitch angle spectra acquired at low‐altitudes by the dual Electron Losses and Fields INvestgation (ELFIN) CubeSats combined with conjugate measurements of equatorial plasma parameters, wave properties, and electron energy spectra by the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms and Magnetospheric MultiScale missions. ELFIN has obtained numerous conjunction events exhibiting whistler wave driven precipitation; in this study, we present two such events which epitomize signatures of nonlinear resonant scattering. A test particle simulation of electron interactions with intense whistler‐mode waves prescribed at the equator is employed to directly compare modeled precipitation spectra with ELFIN observations. We show that the observed precipitating spectra match expectations to within observational uncertainties of wave amplitude for reasonable assumptions of wave power distribution along the magnetic field line. These results indicate the importance of nonlinear resonant effects when describing intense precipitation patterns of energetic electrons and open the possibility of remotely investigating equatorial wave properties using just properties of precipitation energy and pitch angle spectra.

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Award ID(s):
2026375 2019914
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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