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Title: Sub‐MeV Electron Precipitation Driven by EMIC Waves Through Nonlinear Fractional Resonances

Electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves in the Earth's outer radiation belt drive rapid electron losses through wave‐particle interactions. The precipitating electron flux can be high in the hundreds of keV energy range, well below the typical minimum resonance energy. One of the proposed explanations relies on nonresonant scattering, which causes pitch‐angle diffusion away from the fundamental cyclotron resonance. Here we propose the fractional sub‐cyclotron resonance, a second‐order nonlinear effect that scatters particles at resonance ordern = 1/2, as an alternate explanation. Using test‐particle simulations, we evaluate the precipitation ratios of sub‐MeV electrons for wave packets with various shapes, amplitudes, and wave normal angles. We show that the nonlinear sub‐cyclotron scattering produces larger ratios than the nonresonant scattering when the wave amplitude reaches sufficiently large values. The ELFIN CubeSats detected several events with precipitation ratio patterns matching our simulation, demonstrating the importance of sub‐cyclotron resonances during intense precipitation events.

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Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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