Observations and Fokker-Planck simulations of the L-shell, energy, and pitch-angle structure of Earth\textquoterights electron radiation belts during quiet times
The evolution of the radiation belts in L-shell (L), energy (E), and equatorial pitch-angle (α0) is analyzed during the calm 11-day interval (March 4 \textendashMarch 15) following the March 1 storm 2013. Magnetic Electron and Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) observations from Van Allen Probes are interpreted alongside 1D and 3D Fokker-Planck simulations combined with consistent event-driven scattering modeling from whistler mode hiss waves. Three (L, E, α0)-regions persist through 11 days of hiss wave scattering; the pitch-angle dependent inner belt core (L~<2.2 and E<700 keV), pitch-angle homogeneous outer belt low-energy core (L>~5 and E~<100 keV), and a distinct pocket of electrons (L~[4.5, 5.5] and E~[0.7, 2] MeV). The pitch-angle homogeneous outer belt is explained by the diffusion coefficients that are roughly constant for α0~<60\textdegree, E>100 keV, 3.5<L<Lpp~6. Thus, observed unidirectional flux decays can be used to estimate local pitch-angle diffusion rates in that region. Top-hat distributions are computed and observed at L~3-3.5 and E=100-300 keV.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics