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<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Under sufficiently high electric field gradients, electron behaviour within exactly perpendicular shocks is unstable to the so-called trajectory instability. We extend previous work paying special attention to short-scale, high-amplitude structures as observed within the electric field profile. Via test particle simulations, we show that such structures can cause the electron distribution to heat in a manner that violates conservation of the first adiabaticdoi:10.5194/angeo-31-639-2013 fatcat:gglxktorrbdsrnihkhubtrqaly