Ultra-low-frequency wave-driven diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons

TitleUltra-low-frequency wave-driven diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSu, Z, Zhu, H, Xiao, F, Zong, Q-G, Zhou, X-Z, Zheng, H, Wang, Y, Wang, S, Hao, Y-X, Gao, Z, He, Z, Baker, DN, Spence, HE, Reeves, GD, Blake, JB, Wygant, JR
JournalNature Communications
Volume6
Pagination10096
Date Published12/2015
KeywordsVan Allen Probes
AbstractVan Allen radiation belts are typically two zones of energetic particles encircling the Earth separated by the slot region. How the outer radiation belt electrons are accelerated to relativistic energies remains an unanswered question. Recent studies have presented compelling evidence for the local acceleration by very-low-frequency (VLF) chorus waves. However, there has been a competing theory to the local acceleration, radial diffusion by ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves, whose importance has not yet been determined definitively. Here we report a unique radiation belt event with intense ULF waves but no detectable VLF chorus waves. Our results demonstrate that the ULF waves moved the inner edge of the outer radiation belt earthward 0.3 Earth radii and enhanced the relativistic electron fluxes by up to one order of magnitude near the slot region within about 10 h, providing strong evidence for the radial diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons.
URLhttp://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/ncomms10096
DOI10.1038/ncomms10096
Short TitleNat Comms


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