Modeling the Electron Flux Enhancement and Butterfly Pitch Angle Distributions on L Shells <2.5
We analyze an energetic electron flux enhancement event in the inner radiation belt observed by Van Allen Probes during an intense geomagnetic storm. The energetic electron flux at L~1.5 increased by a factor of 3 with pronounced butterfly pitch angle distributions (PADs). Using a three-dimensional radiation belt model, we simulate the electron evolution under the impact of radial diffusion, local wave-particle interactions including hiss, very low frequency transmitters, and magnetosonic waves, as well as Coulomb scattering. Consistency between observation and simulation suggests that inward radial diffusion plays a dominant role in accelerating electrons up to 900 keV and transporting the butterfly PADs from higher L shells to form the butterfly PADs at L~1.5. However, local wave-particle interactions also contribute to drive butterfly PADs at L ≳ 1.9. Our study provides a feasible mechanism to explain the electron flux enhancement in the inner belt and the persistent presence of the butterfly PADs at L~1.5.
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Geophysical Research Letters
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