Constructing the frequency and wave normal distribution of whistler-mode wave power

Clare E. J. Watt, A. W. Degeling, R. Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We introduce a new methodology that allows the construction of wave frequency distributions due to growing incoherent whistler-mode waves in the magnetosphere. The technique combines the equations of geometric optics (i.e. raytracing) with the equation of transfer of radiation in an anisotropic lossy medium to obtain spectral energy density as a function of frequency and wavenormal angle. We describe the method in detail, and then demonstrate how it could be used in an idealised magnetosphere during quiet geomagnetic conditions. For a specific set of plasma conditions, we predict that the wave power peaks off the equator at 2615 degrees magnetic latitude. The new calculations predict that wave power as a function of frequency can be adequately described using a Gaussian function, but as a function of wavenormal angle, it more closely resembles a skew normal distribution. The technique described in this paper is the first known estimate of the parallel and oblique incoherent wave spectrum as a result of growing whistler-mode waves, and provides a means to incorporate self-consistent wave-particle interactions in a kinetic model of the magnetosphere over a large volume.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1984-1991
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


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