Planetary Ultra-Low Frequency Waves: Theory, Modelling and Observations

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Ultra-Low Frequency (ULF) waves play a critical role in the transmission of energy and momentum throughout many magnetised plasma environments and have been observed ubiquitously in magnetospheres throughout the solar system. In particular, observations and modelling have shown the importance of ULF waves regarding radiation belt energisation and decay at Earth, Saturn and Jupiter. ULF waves can also manifest as field line resonances, as observed at Earth, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter, that have wider impacts on local plasma distributions and auroral processes.

Overall, ULF waves in these distinct plasma environments are associated with similar generation mechanisms including solar wind interactions and plasma instabilities. The similarities and differences between ULF wave dynamics in these magnetospheres present an opportunity to understand both the fundamental characteristics of ULF wave processes, as well as the dependence of ULF waves on their environment. With such a wealth of data available for the study of magnetospheric ULF waves e.g. vast arrays of ground-based instruments at Earth (e.g. SuperDARN, ground magnetometer networks) and direct in-situ spacecraft measurements at Mercury, Earth, Jupiter and Saturn (e.g. Van Allen Probes, Arase, THEMIS, MESSENGER, Juno, Cassini, etc.), theory and modelling are ever more important to provide physical explanations for the observations.

We therefore welcome contributions across all aspects of ULF wave research, including observations, modelling and theory. Topics which are of particular interest are (but not limited to): drivers of ULF wave activity, wave-particle interactions involving ULF waves, ULF wave power distribution, field line resonance, drift and drift-bounce resonance, cavity/waveguide modes, conjugate observations involving ground/space instrumentation, ULF wave activity at other planets and their comparison to Earth.

Abstract submission :


Tom Elsden (University of Glasgow)

Matt James (University of Leicester)

Jasmine Kaur Sandhu (Northumbria University)

Clare Watt (Northumbria University)


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