Observations of the impenetrable barrier, the plasmapause, and the VLF bubble during the 17 March 2015 storm

Author
Keywords
Abstract
Van Allen Probes observations during the 17 March 2015 major geomagnetic storm strongly suggest that VLF transmitter-induced waves play an important role in sculpting the earthward extent of outer zone MeV electrons. A magnetically confined bubble of very low frequency (VLF) wave emissions of terrestrial, human-produced origin surrounds the Earth. The outer limit of the VLF bubble closely matches the position of an apparent barrier to the inward extent of multi-MeV radiation belt electrons near 2.8 Earth radii. When the VLF transmitter signals extend beyond the eroded plasmapause, electron loss processes set up near the outer extent of the VLF bubble create an earthward limit to the region of local acceleration near L = 2.8 as MeV electrons are scattered into the atmospheric loss cone.
Year of Publication
2016
Journal
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume
121
Number of Pages
5537-5548
Date Published
06/2016
URL
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/2016JA022509
DOI
10.1002/jgra.v121.610.1002/2016JA022509