On the effect of geomagnetic storms on relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt: Van Allen Probes observations

Using Van Allen Probes ECT-REPT observations we performed a statistical study on the effect of geomagnetic storms on relativistic electrons fluxes in the outer radiation belt for 78 storms between September 2012 and June 2016. We found that the probability of enhancement, depletion and no change in flux values depends strongly on L and energy. Enhancement events are more common for \~ 2 MeV electrons at L \~ 5, and the number of enhancement events decreases with increasing energy at any given L shell. However, considering the percentage of occurrence of each kind of event, enhancements are more probable at higher energies, and the probability of enhancement tends to increases with increasing L shell. Depletion are more probable for 4-5 MeV electrons at the heart of the outer radiation belt, and no change events are more frequent at L < 3.5 for E\~ 3 MeV particles. Moreover, for L > 4.5 the probability of enhancement, depletion or no-change response presents little variation for all energies. Because these probabilities remain relatively constant as a function of radial distance in the outer radiation belt, measurements obtained at Geosynchronous orbit may be used as a proxy to monitor E>=1.8 MeV electrons in the outer belt.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published