Pitch Angle Scattering and Loss of Radiation Belt Electrons in Broadband Electromagnetic Waves

TitlePitch Angle Scattering and Loss of Radiation Belt Electrons in Broadband Electromagnetic Waves
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsChaston, CC, Bonnell, JW, Halford, AJ, Reeves, GD, Baker, DN, Kletzing, CA, Wygant, JR
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published09/2018
KeywordsAlfven waves; drift‐bounce resonance; energetic particles; Geomagnetic storms; pitch‐angle scattering; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes
AbstractA magnetic conjunction between Van Allen Probes spacecraft and the Balloon Array for Radiation‐belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) reveals the simultaneous occurrence of broadband Alfvénic fluctuations and multi‐timescale modulation of enhanced atmospheric X‐ray bremsstrahlung emission. The properties of the Alfvénic fluctuations are used to build a model for pitch angle scattering in the outer radiation belt on electron gyro‐radii scale field structures. It is shown that this scattering may lead to the transport of electrons into the loss cone over an energy range from hundreds of keV to multi‐MeV on diffusive timescales on the order of hours. This process may account for modulation of atmospheric X‐ray fluxes observed from balloons and constitute a significant loss process for the radiation belts.
URLhttps://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2018GL079527
DOI10.1029/2018GL079527
Short TitleGeophys. Res. Lett.


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