Storm Time Depletions of Multi-MeV Radiation Belt Electrons Observed at Different Pitch Angles
During geomagnetic storms, the rapid depletion of the high-energy (several MeV) outer radiation belt electrons is the result of loss to the interplanetary medium through the magnetopause, outward radial diffusion, and loss to the atmosphere due to wave-particle interactions. We have performed a statistical study of 110 storms using pitch angle resolved electron flux measurements from the Van Allen Probes mission and found that inside of the radiation belt (L* = 3 - 5) the number of storms that result in depletion of electrons with equatorial pitch angle αeq = 30o is higher than number of storms that result in depletion of electrons with equatorial pitch angle αeq = 75o. We conclude that this result is consistent with electron scattering by whistler and electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves. At the outer edge of the radiation belt (L* >= 5.2) the number of storms that result in depletion is also large (~40\textendash50\%), emphasizing the significance of the magnetopause shadowing effect and outward radial transport.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics