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Theory, simulation, and observation of discrete eigenmodes associated with lower hybrid solitary structures

Abstract : A three-dimensional fluid description of nonlinear lower hybrid waves is investigated in the context of plasma density depletions. The objective is a basic understanding of lower hybrid solitary structures associated with transverse ion acceleration in the topside auroral ionosphere. The equations are linearized about a parabolic density depletion and solved. The solution consists of potential structures (eigenfunctions) which rotate in angle about the center of the density depletion. The eigenfrequencies are discrete for Iwl • w•. These eigenfunctions rotate in a left-handed sense about the geomagnetic field and the solutions fall off exponentially outside the density depletion. The eigenfrequencies are continuous for Iwl • w•a and kz • 0 but become discrete for kz-0 in agreement with previous two-dimensional results [Seyler, 1994]. Simulations of the full nonlinear system are performed, and rotating eigenmodes are extracted from the spectrum. The results agree with the analytic results obtained from the linearized equations. The spectral properties of a lower hybrid solitary structure from the TOPAZ III sounding rocket are reexamined and found to be consistent with theoretical predictions for lower hybrid waves trapped within a density depletion as presented herein. A local wavelet frequency-wavenumber spectrum is constructed from data taken by moving an interferometer through a simulation at a typical rocket velocity. The results compare favorably with the local frequency-wavenumber spectrum of a lower hybrid solitary structure observed by the TOPAZ II! sounding rocket.
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P.W. Schuck, C.E Seyler, Jean-Louis Pinçon, J.W. Bonnell, P.M. Kintner. Theory, simulation, and observation of discrete eigenmodes associated with lower hybrid solitary structures. Journal of Geophysical Research Space Physics, American Geophysical Union/Wiley, 1998, 103 (A4), pp.6935-6953. ⟨10.1029/97JA02922⟩. ⟨insu-03192014⟩

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