The activity and radial dependence of anomalous diffusion by pitch-angle scattering on split magnetic drift shells

Asymmetries in the magnetospheric magnetic field produce drift shell splitting, which causes the radial (drift shell) invariant to sometimes depend on pitch angle. Where drift shell splitting is significant, pitch angle scattering leads to diffusion in all three invariants of the particle\textquoterights motion, including cross diffusion. We examine the magnitude of drift shell splitting-related anomalous diffusion for outer zone electrons compared to conventional diffusion in the absence of drift shell splitting. We assume the primary local scattering process is wave-particle interactions with chorus. We find that anomalous radial diffusion can exceed that of conventional drift resonant radial diffusion for particles with energies near 0.1 MeV at all radial distances outside the plasmasphere during quiet to moderate geomagnetic activity and, it is significant at 0.5 MeV. Cross diffusion involving the radial invariant can exceed the geometric mean of the corresponding pure diffusion coefficients at 0.1 MeV, and that such cross diffusion is significant even at 0.5-1 MeV. At 1 MeV, cross diffusion is often significant. The highest radial distances and magnetic activity levels in our study do not always exhibit as much significant anomalous diffusion as moderate radial distances and activity levels. This can be explained by (a) stronger dependence of conventional diffusion on magnetic activity and radius, and (b) strongest drift shell splitting at moderate magnetic activity. Simulation codes that neglect the possibility for cross terms will likely systematically underperform, especially for 0.1-0.5 MeV electrons, for much of the outer zone for quiet to moderate levels of magnetic activity.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published
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