Near-Earth Injection of MeV Electrons associated with Intense Dipolarization Electric Fields: Van Allen Probes observations

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Abstract
Substorms generally inject 10s-100s keV electrons, but intense substorm electric fields have been shown to inject MeV electrons as well. An intriguing question is whether such MeV electron injections can populate the outer radiation belt. Here we present observations of a substorm injection of MeV electrons into the inner magnetosphere. In the pre-midnight sector at L\~5.5, Van Allen Probes (RBSP)-A observed a large dipolarization electric field (50mV/m) over \~40s and a dispersionless injection of electrons up to \~3 MeV. Pitch angle observations indicated betatron acceleration of MeV electrons at the dipolarization front. Corresponding signals of MeV electron injection were observed at LANL-GEO, THEMIS-D, and GOES at geosynchronous altitude. Through a series of dipolarizations, the injections increased the MeV electron phase space density by one order of magnitude in less than 3 hours in the outer radiation belt (L>4.8). Our observations provide evidence that deep injections can supply significant MeV electrons.
Year of Publication
2015
Journal
Geophysical Research Letters
Date Published
07/2015
URL
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/2015GL064955
DOI
10.1002/2015GL064955