Simulation of Prompt Acceleration of Radiation Belt Electrons During the 16 July 2017 Storm
We investigate the prompt enhancement of radiation belt electron flux observed by the Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope instrument on board Van Allen Probes following the 16 July 2017 CME-shock compression using MHD-test particle simulations. The prompt enhancements can be explained by the source population interacting with the azimuthally directed electric field impulses induced by CME-shock compressions of the dayside magnetopause. Electrons in drift resonance with the electric field impulse were accelerated by \~ 0.6 MeV on a drift period timescale (in minutes) as the impulse propagated from the dayside to the nightside around the flanks of the magnetosphere. MHD test particle simulation of energization and drift phase bunching, due to the bipolar electric field that accompanies the dayside compression and relaxation, is found to be consistent with Van Allen Probes observations. This study reproduces the energy-dependent drift echoes integrated over pitch angle and observed change in spectra for the first time.
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Geophysical Research Letters