Inner zone and slot electron radial diffusion revisited

Author
Keywords
Abstract
Using recent data from NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes, we estimate the quiet time radial diffusion coefficients for electrons in the inner radiation belt (L < 3) with energies from ~50 to 750 keV. The observations are consistent with dynamics dominated by pitch angle scattering and radial diffusion. We use a coordinate system in which these two modes of diffusion are separable. Then we integrate phase space density over pitch angle to obtain a \textquotedblleftbundle content\textquotedblright that is invariant to pitch angle scattering, except for atmospheric loss. We estimate the effective radial diffusion coefficient from the temporal and radial variation of the bundle content. We show that our diffusion coefficients agree well with previously determined values obtained in the 1960s and 1970s and follow the form one expects for radial diffusion caused by exponentially decaying impulses in the large-scale electrostatic potential.
Year of Publication
2016
Journal
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
43
Start Page
7301
Number of Pages
7301-7310
Date Published
07/2016
URL
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL069749/full
DOI
10.1002/2016GL069749