Unusual refilling of the slot region between the Van Allen radiation belts from November 2004 to January 2005

Using multisatellite measurements, a uniquely strong and long-lived relativistic electron slot region refilling event from November 2004 to January 2005 is investigated. This event occurred under remarkable interplanetary and magnetospheric conditions. Both empirically modeled and observationally estimated plasmapause locations demonstrate that the plasmasphere eroded significantly prior to the enhancement phase of this event. The estimated diffusion coefficients indicate that the radial diffusion due to ULF waves is insufficient to account for the observed enhancement of slot region electrons. However, the diffusion coefficients evaluated using the distribution of chorus wave intensities derived from low-altitude POES electron observations indicate that the local acceleration induced by chorus could account for the major feature of observed enhancement outside the plasmapause. When the plasmasphere recovered, the refilled slot region was enveloped inside the plasmapause. In the plasmasphere, while the efficiency of hiss scattering loss increases by including unusually low frequency hiss waves, the interaction with hiss alone cannot fully explain the decay of this event, especially at higher energies, which suggests that electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves contribute to the relativistic electron loss process at such low L shells for this refilling event. Through a comprehensive analysis on the basis of data analyses and numerical calculations, the present study sheds light on the underlying physics responsible for the unusual slot refilling by relativistic electrons, which exhibits the complexity of both radiation belt electron dynamics and associated wave-particle interactions.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published