Radiation belt 2D and 3D simulations for CIR-driven storms during Carrington Rotation 2068

As part of the International Heliospheric Year, the Whole Heliosphere Interval, Carrington Rotation 2068, from March 20 to April 16, 2008 was chosen as an internationally coordinated observing and modeling campaign. A pair of solar wind structures identified as Corotating Interaction Regions (CIR), characteristic of the declining phase of the solar cycle and solar minimum, was identified in solar wind plasma measurements from the ACE satellite. Such structures have previously been determined to be geoeffective in producing enhanced outer zone radiation belt electron fluxes, on average greater than at solar maximum. MHD fields from the Coupled Magnetosphere\textendashIonosphere\textendashThermosphere (CMIT) model driven by ACE solar wind measurements at L1 have been used to drive both 2D and 3D weighted test particle simulations of electron dynamics for the CIR subset of the month-long CMIT fields. Dropout in electron flux at geosynchronous orbit and enhancement during recovery phase, characteristic of CIR-driven storms, is seen in these moderate (Dstmin=-56, -33 nT) events, while the two CIRs were characterized by increased solar wind velocity in the 650\textendash750 km/s range. The first beginning March 26 produced a greater enhancement in IMF Bz southward and stronger magnetospheric convection, leading to a greater radiation belt electron response at GOES. This study provides the first comparison of 2D and 3D particle dynamics in MHD simulation fields, incorporating the additional diffusive feature of Shebansky orbit trapping of electrons in the magnetic minima on the dayside above and below the equatorial plane. Overall loss occurs during the main phase for 2D and 3D simulations, while incorporation of plasmasheet injection in 2D runs produces a moderate enhancement for the March 26\textendash30 storm, less than observed at GOES, and recovery to initial flux levels as seen for the April 4\textendash7 storm.
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Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
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