Propagation of Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron Waves in a Dipole Magnetic Field: A 2-D Hybrid Simulation
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Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are one commonly observed plasma waves in the Earth's inner magnetosphere and play a crucial role in particle dynamics in the radiation belt and ring current. EMIC waves are excited by a proton temperature anisotropy and generally have a left-handed polarization, however satellite observations have usually reported the existence of linearly polarized EMIC waves in the inner magnetosphere. In this paper, we employ a two-dimensional (2D) hybrid code in a dipole field (gcPIC-hybrid) to simulate the propagation of EMIC waves from the equatorial source region. We track one single EMIC wave packet and analyze how its properties evolve along its trajectory. In diagnosing the wave normal angle (WNA) of the packet, we propose a novel method called Wave Front Shape Identification (WFSI). The ellipticity can also been calculated after we know the WNA. By comparing the ellipticity calculated from the linear theory and the ellipticity diagnosed from the simulation, we conclude that in a proton-electron plasma, EMIC waves would turn from a left-handed polarization to a linear polarization solely due to the propagation effect when the waves propagate toward higher latitudes and become oblique. We also find that the peak frequency of the wave packet (the wave mode with the maximum amplitude) decreases when propagating toward higher latitudes, which is due to different growth and damping behavior of different modes.