A study using Arase data gives the first observational evidence that the frequency drift of electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves is caused by cyclotron trapping. EMIC emissions play an important role in planetary magnetospheres, causing scattering loss of radiation belt relativistic electrons and energetic protons. EMIC waves frequently show nonlinear signatures that include frequency drift and amplitude enhancements. While nonlinear growth theory has suggested that the frequency change is caused by nonlinear resonant currents owing to cyclotron trapping of the particles, observational evidence for this has been elusive. We survey the wave data observed by Arase from March, 2017 to September 2019, and find the best falling tone emission event, one detected on 11th November, 2017, for the wave particle interaction analysis. Here, we show for the first time direct evidence of the formation of a proton hill in phase space indicating cyclotron trapping. The associated resonance currents and the wave growth of a falling tone EMIC wave are observed coincident with the hill, as theoretically predicted.
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