Simulation of the prompt energization and transport of radiation belt particles during the March 24, 1991 SSC
We model the rapid (\~ 1 min) formation of a new electron radiation belt at L ≃ 2.5 that resulted from the Storm Sudden Commencement (SSC) of March 24, 1991 as observed by the CRRES satellite. Guided by the observed electric and magnetic fields, we represent the time-dependent magnetospheric electric field during the SSC by an asymmetric bipolar pulse that is associated with the compression and relaxation of the Earth\textquoterights magnetic field. We follow the electrons using a relativistic guiding center code. The test-particle simulations show that electrons with energies of a few MeV at L > 6 were energized up to 40 MeV and transported to L ≃ 2.5 during a fraction of their drift period. The energization process conserves the first adiabatic invariant and is enhanced due to resonance of the electron drift motion with the time-varying electric field. Our simulation results, with an initial W-8 energy flux spectra, reproduce the observed electron drift echoes and show that the interplanetary shock impacted the magnetosphere between 1500 and 1800 MLT.
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Geophysical Research Letters
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