Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 11, 411–420, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-11-411-2004
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 11, 411–420, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-11-411-2004

  21 Sep 2004

21 Sep 2004

High frequency ion sound waves associated with Langmuir waves in type III radio burst source regions

G. Thejappa1 and R. J. MacDowall2 G. Thejappa and R. J. MacDowall
  • 1Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
  • 2NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

Abstract. Short wavelength ion sound waves (2-4kHz) are detected in association with the Langmuir waves (~15-30kHz) in the source regions of several local type III radio bursts. They are most probably not due to any resonant wave-wave interactions such as the electrostatic decay instability because their wavelengths are much shorter than those of Langmuir waves. The Langmuir waves occur as coherent field structures with peak intensities exceeding the Langmuir collapse thresholds. Their scale sizes are of the order of the wavelength of an ion sound wave. These Langmuir wave field characteristics indicate that the observed short wavelength ion sound waves are most probably generated during the thermalization of the burnt-out cavitons left behind by the Langmuir collapse. Moreover, the peak intensities of the observed short wavelength ion sound waves are comparable to the expected intensities of those ion sound waves radiated by the burnt-out cavitons. However, the speeds of the electron beams derived from the frequency drift of type III radio bursts are too slow to satisfy the needed adiabatic ion approximation. Therefore, some non-linear process such as the induced scattering on thermal ions most probably pumps the beam excited Langmuir waves towards the lower wavenumbers, where the adiabatic ion approximation is justified.