Storm time evolution of the outer radiation belt: Transport and losses
During geomagnetic storms the magnetic field of the inner magnetosphere exhibits large-scale variations over timescales from minutes to days. Being mainly controlled by the magnetic field the motion of relativistic electrons of the outer radiation belt can be highly susceptible to its variations. This paper investigates evolution of the outer belt during the 7 September 2002 storm. Evolution of electron phase space density is calculated with the use of a test-particle simulation in storm time magnetic and electric fields. The results show that storm time intensification of the ring current produces a large impact on the belt. In contrast to the conventional Dst effect the dominant effects are nonadiabatic and lead to profound and irreversible transformations of the belt. The diamagnetic influence of the partial ring current leads to expansion of electron drift orbits such that their paths intersect the magnetopause leading to rapid electron losses. About 2.5 hr after the storm onset most of the electrons outside L = 5 are lost. The partial ring current pressure also leads to an electron trap in the dayside magnetosphere where electrons stay on closed dayside drift orbits for as long as 11 hours. These sequestered electrons are reinjected into the outer belt due to partial recovery of the ring current. The third adiabatic invariant of these electrons exhibits rapid jumps and changes sign. These jumps produce localized peaks in the L*-profile of electron phase space density which have previously been considered as an observable indication of local electron acceleration.
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Journal of Geophysical Research