Combined Convective and Diffusive Simulations: VERB-4D Comparison with March 17, 2013 Van Allen Probes Observations

This study is focused on understanding the coupling between different electron populations in the inner magnetosphere and the various physical processes that determine evolution of electron fluxes at different energies. Observations during the March 17, 2013 storm and simulations with a newly developed Versatile Electron Radiation Belt-4D (VERB-4D) are presented. Analysis of the drift trajectories of the energetic and relativistic electrons shows that electron trajectories at transitional energies with a first invariant on the scale of ~100MeV/G may resemble ring current or relativistic electron trajectories depending on the level of geomagnetic activity. Simulations with the VERB-4D code including convection, radial diffusion, and energy diffusion are presented. Sensitivity simulations including various physical processes show how different acceleration mechanisms contribute to the energization of energetic electrons at transitional energies. In particular, the range of energies where inward transport is strongly influenced by both convection and radial diffusion are studied. The results of the 4D simulations are compared to Van Allen Probes observations at a range of energies including source, seed, and core populations of the energetic and relativistic electrons in the inner magnetosphere.
Year of Publication
Geophysical Research Letters
Date Published