Modeling inward diffusion and slow decay of energetic electrons in the Earth's outer radiation belt

TitleModeling inward diffusion and slow decay of energetic electrons in the Earth's outer radiation belt
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMa, Q, Li, W, Thorne, RM, Ni, B, Kletzing, CA, Kurth, WS, Hospodarsky, GB, Reeves, GD, Henderson, MG, Spence, HE, Baker, DN, Blake, JB, Fennell, JF, Claudepierre, SG, Angelopoulos, V
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published02/2015
Keywordspitch angle scattering; radiation belts modeling; Van Allen Probes; Van Allen Probes observations
AbstractA new 3D diffusion code is used to investigate the inward intrusion and slow decay of energetic radiation belt electrons (>0.5 MeV) observed by the Van Allen Probes during a 10-day quiet period in March 2013. During the inward transport the peak differential electron fluxes decreased by approximately an order of magnitude at various energies. Our 3D radiation belt simulation including radial diffusion and pitch angle and energy diffusion by plasmaspheric hiss and Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves reproduces the essential features of the observed electron flux evolution. The decay timescales and the pitch angle distributions in our simulation are consistent with the Van Allen Probes observations over multiple energy channels. Our study suggests that the quiet-time energetic electron dynamics are effectively controlled by inward radial diffusion and pitch angle scattering due to a combination of plasmaspheric hiss and EMIC waves in the Earth's radiation belts.
URLhttp://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/2014GL062977
DOI10.1002/2014GL062977
Short TitleGeophys. Res. Lett.


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