Simulation of ULF wave modulated radiation belt electron precipitation during the 17 March 2013 storm

TitleSimulation of ULF wave modulated radiation belt electron precipitation during the 17 March 2013 storm
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBrito, T, Hudson, MK, Kress, B, Paral, J, Halford, A, Millan, R, Usanova, M
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published03/2015
Keywordsprecipitation; Radiation belts; Ulf; ULF modulation
AbstractBalloon-borne instruments detecting radiation belt precipitation frequently observe oscillations in the mHz frequency range. Balloons measuring electron precipitation near the poles in the 100 keV to 2.5 MeV energy range, including the MAXIS, MINIS, and most recently the BARREL balloon experiments, have observed this modulation at ULF wave frequencies [e.g. Foat et al., 1998; Millan et al., 2002; Millan, 2011]. Although ULF waves in the magnetosphere are seldom directly linked to increases in electron precipitation since their oscillation periods are much larger than the gyroperiod and the bounce period of radiation belt electrons, test particle simulations show that this interaction is possible [Brito et al., 2012]. 3D simulations of radiation belt electrons were performed to investigate the effect of ULF waves on precipitation. The simulations track the behavior of energetic electrons near the loss cone, using guiding center techniques, coupled with an MHD simulation of the magnetosphere, using the LFM code, during a CME-shock event on 17 March 2013. Results indicate that ULF modulation of precipitation occurs even without the presence of EMIC waves, which are not resolved in the MHD simulation. The arrival of a strong CME-shock, such as the one simulated, disrupts the electric and magnetic fields in the magnetosphere and causes significant changes in both components of momentum, pitch angle and L-shell of radiation belt electrons, which may cause them to precipitate into the loss cone.
URLhttp://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/2014JA020838
DOI10.1002/2014JA020838
Short TitleJ. Geophys. Res. Space Physics


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