A Short-lived Three-Belt Structure for sub-MeV Electrons in the Van Allen Belts: Time Scale and Energy Dependence
In this study we focus on the radiation belt dynamics driven by the geomagnetic storms during September 2017. Besides the long-lasting three-belt structures of ultrarelativistic electrons (>2 MeV, existing for tens of days), which has been studied intensively during the Van Allen Probe era, it is found that magnetospheric electrons of hundreds of keVs can also have three-belt structures at similar L extent during storm time. Measurements of 500–800 keV electrons from MagEIS instrument onboard Van Allen Probes show double-peaked (L = 3.5 and 4.5, respectively) flux-versus-L-shell profile in the outer belt, which lasted for 2–3 days. During the time interval of such transient three-belt structure, the energy-versus-L spectrogram shows novel distributions differing from both “S-shaped” and “V-shaped” spectrograms reported previously. Such peculiar distribution also illustrates the energy-dependent occurrence of the three-belt profile. The gradual formation of “reversed energy spectrum” at L ∼ 3.5 also indicates that hiss scattering inside the plasmapause contributed to the fast decay of sub-MeV remnant belt.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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