Timescales for electron quasi-linear diffusion by lower-band chorus waves: the effects of <i>ω</i> <sub>pe</sub> / <i>Ω</i> <sub>ce</sub> dependence on geomagnetic activity
Electron scattering by chorus waves is an important mechanism that can lead to fast electron acceleration and loss in the outer radiation belt. Making use of Van Allen Probes measurements, we present the first statistical survey of megaelectron volt electron pitch angle and energy quasi-linear diffusion rates by chorus waves as a function of L-shell, local time, and AE index, taking into account the local electron plasma frequency to gyrofrequency ratio ωpe/Ωce, chorus wave frequency, and resonance wave amplitude. We demonstrate that during disturbed periods, ωpe/Ωce strongly decreases in the night sector, leading to a faster electron loss but also a much faster electron energization in two distinct regions just above the plasmapause and at L ~ 3.5\textendash5.5. Spatiotemporal variations of ωpe/Ωce with AE shape the evolution of electron energization in the outer belt, sometimes leading to very short time scales for quasi-linear megaelectron volt electron acceleration in agreement with Van Allen Probes observations.
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Geophysical Research Letters