Observations and Fokker‐Planck simulations of the L‐shell, energy, and pitch‐angle structure of Earth’s electron radiation belts during quiet times

TitleObservations and Fokker‐Planck simulations of the L‐shell, energy, and pitch‐angle structure of Earth’s electron radiation belts during quiet times
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsRipoll, ‐F, Loridan, V, Denton, MH, Cunningham, G, Reeves, G, ík, O, Fennell, J, Turner, DL, Drozdov, AY, Villa, JSCervant, Shprits, YY, Thaller, SA, Kurth, WS, Kletzing, CA, Henderson, MG, Ukhorskiy, AY
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published12/2018
ISSN2169-9380
Keywordselectron lifetime; hiss waves; pitch‐angle diffusion coefficient; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes; wave particle interactions
AbstractThe evolution of the radiation belts in L‐shell (L), energy (E), and equatorial pitch‐angle (α0) is analyzed during the calm 11‐day interval (March 4 –March 15) following the March 1 storm 2013. Magnetic Electron and Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) observations from Van Allen Probes are interpreted alongside 1D and 3D Fokker‐Planck simulations combined with consistent event‐driven scattering modeling from whistler mode hiss waves. Three (L, E, α0)‐regions persist through 11 days of hiss wave scattering; the pitch‐angle dependent inner belt core (L~<2.2 and E<700 keV), pitch‐angle homogeneous outer belt low‐energy core (L>~5 and E~<100 keV), and a distinct pocket of electrons (L~[4.5, 5.5] and E~[0.7, 2] MeV). The pitch‐angle homogeneous outer belt is explained by the diffusion coefficients that are roughly constant for α0~<60°, E>100 keV, 3.5<L<Lpp~6. Thus, observed unidirectional flux decays can be used to estimate local pitch‐angle diffusion rates in that region. Top‐hat distributions are computed and observed at L~3‐3.5 and E=100‐300 keV.
URLhttps://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2018JA026111
DOI10.1029/2018JA026111
Short TitleJ. Geophys. Res. Space Physics


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