Van Allen Probes observations of prompt MeV radiation belt electron acceleration in nonlinear interactions with VLF chorus

Author
Keywords
Abstract
Prompt recovery of MeV (millions of electron Volts) electron populations in the poststorm core of the outer terrestrial radiation belt involves local acceleration of a seed population of energetic electrons in interactions with VLF chorus waves. Electron interactions during the generation of VLF rising tones are strongly nonlinear, such that a fraction of the relativistic electrons at resonant energies are trapped by waves, leading to significant nonadiabatic energy exchange. Through detailed examination of VLF chorus and electron fluxes observed by Van Allen Probes, we investigate the efficiency of nonlinear processes for acceleration of electrons to MeV energies. We find through subpacket analysis of chorus waveforms that electrons with initial energy of hundreds of keV to 3 MeV can be accelerated by 50 keV\textendash200 keV in resonant interactions with a single VLF rising tone on a time scale of 10\textendash100 ms.
Year of Publication
2017
Journal
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume
122
Start Page
324
Date Published
01/2017
URL
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016JA023429
DOI
10.1002/2016JA023429