Articles | Volume 7, issue 3/4
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 7, 185–190, 2000
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-7-185-2000
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 7, 185–190, 2000
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-7-185-2000

  31 Dec 2000

31 Dec 2000

Nonlinear wave-particle interaction upstream from the Earth's bow shock

C. Mazelle1, D. Le Quéau1, and K. Meziane2 C. Mazelle et al.
  • 1Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements, CNRS / Université Paul Sabatier, 31028 Toulouse, France
  • 2Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA

Abstract. Well-defined ring-like backstreaming ion distributions have been recently reported from observations made by the 3DP/PESA-High analyzer onboard the WIND spacecraft in the Earth's foreshock at large distances from the bow shock, which suggests a local production mechanism. The maximum phase space density for these distributions remains localized at a nearly constant pitch-angle value for a large number of gyroperiods while the shape of the distribution remains very steady. These distributions are also observed in association with quasi-monochromatic low frequency (~ 50 mHz) waves with substantial amplitude (δB/B>0.2). The analysis of the magnetic field data has shown that the waves are propagating parallel to the background field in the right-hand mode. Parallel ion beams are also often observed in the same region before the observation of both the ring-like distributions and the waves. The waves appear in cyclotron resonance with the ion parallel beams. We investigate first the possibility that the ion beams could provide the free energy source for driving an ion/ion instability responsible for the ULF wave occurrence. For that, we solve the wave dispersion relation with the observed parameters. Second, we show that the ring-like distributions could then be produced by a coherent nonlinear wave-particle interaction. It tends to trap the ions into narrow cells in velocity space centered on a well-defined pitch-angle, directly related to the saturation wave amplitude in the analytical theory. The theoretical predictions are in good quantitative agreement with the observations