Sudden commencements related plasma waves observed by the Akebono satellite in the polar region and inside the plasmasphere region

A. Shinbori, T. Ono, M. Iizima, A. Kumamoto, H. Oya

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Plasma wave phenomena associated with sudden commencements (SC) are analyzed using the database of the Akebono satellite observations that have been carried out for more than 13 years since March 1989. All the 719 data sets simultaneously observed in the periods of SC events show that plasma waves are enhanced with one-to-one correspondence to SCs in entire regions of the polar cap, auroral zone, and plasmasphere within a response time of ±90 s. In the middle latitude and equatorial regions of the plasmasphere, intensification and frequency shift of electromagnetic whistler mode, LHR waves, and ion cyclotron harmonic waves are found. The electric field variations in this region also show clear response to the onset of SCs with the amplitude of 0.2-30 mV/m. The variations are observed in the nightside as well as dayside sectors, and no clear dependence of magnetic latitude, local time, and L shell is found. On the other hand, electrostatic whistler mode waves and electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves which show broadband spectra are generated in the high-latitude region. Spectra of low-energy particles observed simultaneously with the enhancement of these plasma waves show that electron fluxes are enhanced in all of pitch angle bins of the low-energy particle detector onboard the Akebono satellite. Near the cusp region, the ion fluxes are more enhanced in the upward direction than in the downward direction along the magnetic field lines. In about half of the cases of the high-latitude events, sudden appearance and intensification of AKR are also found after the onsets of SC. The delay time between the onsets of SC and AKR enhancement shows several minutes with the average time of 5.7 min. Time differences between the onsets of SC measured at Kakioka Magnetic Observatory and plasma wave enhancements observed by the Akebono satellite show positive correlation with possible delay time according to the propagation route of SC disturbances. Propagation character of SC disturbances shows two group signatures: one group takes a route which crosses the geomagnetic equator region with an average speed of 389.5 km/s. The speed is almost consistent with plasmaspheric fast-mode MHD wave velocity. The other group takes a route which starts from the dayside cusp region. In the second case, the SC disturbances propagate through the polar ionosphere region from the dayside to the nightside sectors with an average speed of 47 km/s in the XGSM coordinate corresponding to the ionospheric fast-mode MHD wave velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1457
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA12
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec


  • AKR
  • Akebono satellite observations
  • Electric field
  • Plasma waves
  • Plasmasphere
  • Sudden commencement


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