Van Allen Probes measurements of energetic particle deep penetration into the low L region (L<4) during the storm on 8 April 2016

Using measurements from the Van Allen Probes, a penetration event of 10s \textendash 100s of keV electrons and 10s of keV protons into the low L-shells (L<4) is studied. Timing and magnetic local time (MLT) differences of energetic particle deep penetration are unveiled and underlying physical processes are examined. During this event, both proton and electron penetrations are MLT-asymmetric. The observed MLT difference of proton penetration is consistent with convection of plasma sheet protons, suggesting enhanced convection during geomagnetic active times to be the cause of energetic proton deep penetration during this event. The observed MLT difference of 10s \textendash 100s of keV electron penetration is completely different from 10s of keV protons and cannot be well explained by inward radial diffusion, convection of plasma sheet electrons, or transport of trapped electrons by enhanced convection electric field represented by the Volland-Stern model or a uniform dawn-dusk electric field model based on the electric field measurements. It suggests that the underlying physical mechanism responsible for energetic electron deep penetration, which is very important for fully understanding energetic electron dynamics in the low L-shells, should be MLT-localized.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published