Simulation of energy-dependent electron diffusion processes in the Earth's outer radiation belt

TitleSimulation of energy-dependent electron diffusion processes in the Earth's outer radiation belt
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMa, Q, Li, W, Thorne, RM, Nishimura, Y, Zhang, X-J, Reeves, GD, Kletzing, CA, Kurth, WS, Hospodarsky, GB, Henderson, MG, Spence, HE, Baker, DN, Blake, JB, Fennell, JF, Angelopoulos, V
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published05/2016
Keywordselectron acceleration and loss; energy-dependent diffusion; radial diffusion; radiation belt simulation; Van Allen Probes
AbstractThe radial and local diffusion processes induced by various plasma waves govern the highly energetic electron dynamics in the Earth's radiation belts, causing distinct characteristics in electron distributions at various energies. In this study, we present our simulation results of the energetic electron evolution during a geomagnetic storm using the University of California, Los Angeles 3-D diffusion code. Following the plasma sheet electron injections, the electrons at different energy bands detected by the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) and Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope (REPT) instruments on board the Van Allen Probes exhibit a rapid enhancement followed by a slow diffusive movement in differential energy fluxes, and the radial extent to which electrons can penetrate into depends on energy with closer penetration toward the Earth at lower energies than higher energies. We incorporate radial diffusion, local acceleration, and loss processes due to whistler mode wave observations to perform a 3-D diffusion simulation. Our simulation results demonstrate that chorus waves cause electron flux increase by more than 1 order of magnitude during the first 18 h, and the subsequent radial extents of the energetic electrons during the storm recovery phase are determined by the coupled radial diffusion and the pitch angle scattering by EMIC waves and plasmaspheric hiss. The radial diffusion caused by ULF waves and local plasma wave scattering are energy dependent, which lead to the observed electron flux variations with energy dependences. This study suggests that plasma wave distributions in the inner magnetosphere are crucial for the energy-dependent intrusions of several hundred keV to several MeV electrons.
URLhttp://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/2016JA022507
DOI10.1002/2016JA022507
Short TitleJ. Geophys. Res. Space Physics


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