Inner zone and slot electron radial diffusion revisited

TitleInner zone and slot electron radial diffusion revisited
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsO'Brien, TP, Claudepierre, SG, Guild, TB, Fennell, JF, Turner, DL, Blake, JB, Clemmons, JH, Roeder, JL
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Start Page7301
Pagination7301 - 7310
Date Published07/2016
KeywordsInner zone; radial diffusion; Radiation belt; Van Allen Probes
AbstractUsing recent data from NASA's Van Allen Probes, we estimate the quiet time radial diffusion coefficients for electrons in the inner radiation belt (L < 3) with energies from ~50 to 750 keV. The observations are consistent with dynamics dominated by pitch angle scattering and radial diffusion. We use a coordinate system in which these two modes of diffusion are separable. Then we integrate phase space density over pitch angle to obtain a “bundle content” that is invariant to pitch angle scattering, except for atmospheric loss. We estimate the effective radial diffusion coefficient from the temporal and radial variation of the bundle content. We show that our diffusion coefficients agree well with previously determined values obtained in the 1960s and 1970s and follow the form one expects for radial diffusion caused by exponentially decaying impulses in the large-scale electrostatic potential.
Short TitleGeophys. Res. Lett.

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