Found 53 entries in the Bibliography.
Showing entries from 1 through 50
AbstractPlasma sheet electron precipitation into the diffuse aurora is critical for magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. Recent studies have shown that electron phase space holes can pitch-angle scatter electrons and may produce plasma sheet electron precipitation. These studies have assumed identical electron hole parameters to estimate electron scattering rates (Vasko et al., 2018). In this study, we have re-evaluated the efficiency of this scattering by incorporating realistic electron hole properties from direct spacecraft observations into computing electron diffusion rates and lifetimes. The most important electron hole properties in this evaluation are their distributions in velocity and spatial scale and electric field root-mean-square intensity (). Using direct measurements of electron holes during a plasma injection event observed by the Van Allen Probe at , we find that when 4 mV/m electron lifetimes can drop below one hour and are mostly within strong diffusion limits at energies below 10 keV. During an injection observed by the THEMIS spacecraft at , electron holes with even typical intensities (1 mV/m) can deplete low-energy (a few keV) plasma sheet electrons within tens of minutes following injections and convection from the tail. Our results confirm that electron holes are a significant contributor to plasma sheet electron precipitation during injections.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 08/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JA029380
AbstractThe spatial scales of whistler-mode waves, determined by their generation process, propagation, and damping, are important for assessing the scaling and efficiency of wave-particle interactions affecting the dynamics of the radiation belts. We use multi-point wave measurements in 2013-2019 by two identically equipped Van Allen Probes spacecraft covering all MLTs at L=2-6 near the geomagnetic equator to investigate the spatial extent of active regions of chorus and hiss waves, their wave amplitude distribution in the source/generation region, and the scales of chorus wave packets, employing a time-domain correlation technique to the spacecraft approaches closer than 1000 km, which happened every 70 days in 2012-2018 and every 35 days in 2018-2019. The correlation of chorus wave power dynamics using two spacecraft measurements is found to remain significant up to inter-spacecraft separations of 400 km to 750 km transverse to the background magnetic field direction, consistent with previous estimates of the chorus wave packet extent, but indicating the likely presence of two different scales of about 400 km and 750 km. Our results further suggest that the chorus source region can be slightly asymmetrical, more elongated in either the azimuthal or radial direction, which could also explain the aforementioned two different scales. An analysis of average chorus and hiss wave amplitudes at separate locations similarly reveals different radial and azimuthal extents of the corresponding wave active regions, complementing previous results based on THEMIS spacecraft statistics mainly at larger L>6. Both the chorus source region scale and the chorus active region size appear smaller inside the outer radiation belt (at L< 6) than at higher L-shells.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 06/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA028998
Abstract We investigate relativistic electron precipitation events detected by POES in low-Earth orbit in close conjunction with Van Allen Probe A observations of EMIC waves near the geomagnetic equator. We show that the occurrence rate of > 0.7 MeV electron precipitation recorded by POES during those times strongly increases, reaching statistically significant levels when the minimum electron energy for cyclotron resonance with hydrogen or helium band EMIC waves at the equator decreases below ≃ 1.0 − 2.5 MeV, as expected from quasi-linear theory. Both hydrogen and helium band EMIC waves can be effective in precipitating MeV electrons. However, > 0.7 MeV electron precipitation is more often observed (at statistically significant levels) when the minimum electron energy for cyclotron resonance with hydrogen band waves is low (Emin = 0.6 − 1.0 MeV), whereas it is more often observed when the minimum electron energy for cyclotron resonance with helium band waves is slightly larger (Emin = 1.0 − 2.5 MeV), indicative of warm plasma effects for waves approaching the He+ gyrofrequency. We further show that most precipitation events had energies > 0.7 − 1.0 MeV, consistent with the estimated minimum energy (Emin ∼ 0.6 − 2.5 MeV) of cyclotron resonance with the observed EMIC waves during the majority of these events. However, 4 out of the 12 detected precipitation events cannot be explained by electron quasi-linear scattering by the observed EMIC waves, and 12 out of 20 theoretically expected precipitation events were not detected by POES, suggesting the possibility of nonlinear effects likely present near the magnetic equator, or warm plasma effects, and/or narrowly localized bursts of EMIC waves. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 04/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JA029193
Abstract Most lower-band chorus waves observed in the inner magnetosphere propagate under the form of moderately intense short wave packets with fast frequency and phase variations. Therefore, understanding the formation mechanism of such short wave packets is crucial for accurately modelling electron nonlinear acceleration or precipitation into the atmosphere by these waves. We compare chorus wave statistics from the Van Allen Probes with predictions from a simple model of short wave packet generation by wave superposition with resonance non-overlap, as well as with results from Vlasov Hybrid Simulations of chorus wave generation in an inhomogeneous magnetic field in the presence of one or two simultaneous triggering waves. We show that the observed moderate amplitude short chorus wave packets can be formed by a superposition of two or more waves generated near the magnetic equator with a sufficiently large frequency difference.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 03/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL092178
Energetic electron dynamics is highly affected by plasma waves through quasilinear and/or nonlinear interactions in the Earth s inner magnetosphere. In this letter, we provide physical explanations for a previously reported intriguing event from the Van Allen Probes observations, where bursts of electron butterfly distributions at tens of keV exhibit remarkable correlations with chorus waves. Both test particle and quasilinear simulations are used to reveal the formation mechanism for the bursts of electron butterfly distribution. The test particle simulation results indicate that nonlinear phase trapping due to chorus waves is the key process to accelerate electrons to form the electron butterfly distribution within ~30 s, and reproduces the observed features. Quasilinear simulation results show that although the diffusion process alone also contributes to form the electron butterfly distribution, the timescale is slower. Our study demonstrates the importance of nonlinear interaction in rapid electron acceleration at tens of keV by chorus waves.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 10/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL090749
The flux of energetic electrons in the outer radiation belt shows a high variability. The interactions of electrons with very low frequency (VLF) chorus waves play a significant role in controlling the flux variation of these particles. Quantifying the effects of these interactions is crucially important for accurately modeling the global dynamics of the outer radiation belt and to provide a comprehensive description of electron flux variations over a wide energy range (from the source population of 30 keV electrons up to the relativistic core population of the outer radiation belt). Here, we use a synthetic chorus wave model based on a combined database compiled from the Van Allen Probes and Cluster spacecraft VLF measurements to develop a comprehensive parametric model of electron lifetimes as a function of L-shell, electron energy, and geomagnetic activity. The wave model takes into account the wave amplitude dependence on geomagnetic latitude, wave normal angle distribution, and variations of wave frequency with latitude. We provide general analytical formulas to estimate electron lifetimes as a function of L-shell (for L = 3.0 to L = 6.5), electron energy (from 30 keV to 2 MeV), and geomagnetic activity parameterized by the AE index. The present model lifetimes are compared to previous studies and analytical results and also show a good agreement with measured lifetimes of 30 to 300 keV electrons at geosynchronous orbit.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 07/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA028018
Whistler-mode hiss waves generally determine MeV electron lifetimes inside the plasmasphere. We use Van Allen Probes measurements to provide the first comprehensive statistical survey of plasmaspheric hiss-driven quasi-linear pitch-angle diffusion rates and lifetimes of MeV electrons as a function of L*, local time, and AE index, taking into account hiss power, electron plasma frequency to gyrofrequency ratio ωpe/Ωce, hiss frequency at peak power ωm, and cross correlations of these parameters. We find that during geomagnetically active periods with hiss observations, ωpe/Ωce and ωm decrease, leading to faster electron loss. We demonstrate that spatiotemporal variations of ωm and ωpe/Ωce with AE, together with wave power changes, significantly affect MeV electron loss, potentially leading to short lifetimes of less than 1 day. A parametric model of MeV electron lifetime driven by AE for L > 2.5 up to the plasmapause is developed and validated using Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) electron flux decay database.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 05/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL088052
Ultrarelativistic electron remnant belts appear frequently following geomagnetic disturbances and are located in-between the inner radiation belt and a reforming outer belt. As remnant belts are relatively stable, here we explore the importance of hiss and electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves in controlling the observed decay rates of remnant belt ultrarelativistic electrons in a statistical way. Using measurements from the Van Allen Probes inside the plasmasphere for 25 remnant belt events that occurred between 2012 and 2017 and that are located in the region 2.9 Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: Dec-07-2019 YEAR: 2019   DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026509
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: Dec-07-2019
YEAR: 2019   DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026509
The magnetospheric driver of strong thermal emission velocity enhancement (STEVE) is investigated using conjugate observations when Van Allen Probes\textquoteright footprint directly crossed both STEVE and stable red aurora (SAR) arc. In the ionosphere, STEVE is associated with subauroral ion drift features, including electron temperature peak, density gradient, and westward ion flow. The SAR arc at lower latitudes corresponds to regions inside the plasmapause with isotropic plasma heating, which causes redline-only SAR emission via heat conduction. STEVE corresponds to the sharp plasmapause boundary containing quasi-static subauroral ion drift electric field and parallel-accelerated electrons by kinetic Alfv\ en waves. These parallel electrons could precipitate and be accelerated via auroral acceleration processes powered by Alfv\ en waves propagating along the magnetic field with the plasmapause as a waveguide. The electron precipitation, superimposed on the heat conduction, could explain multiwavelength continuous STEVE emission. The green picket-fence emissions are likely optical manifestations of electron precipitation associated with wave structures traveling along the plasmapause.
Chu, Xiangning; Malaspina, David; Gallardo-Lacourt, Bea; Liang, Jun; Andersson, Laila; Ma, Qianli; Artemyev, Anton; Liu, Jiang; Ergun, Robert; Thaller, Scott; Akbari, Hassanali; Zhao, Hong; Larsen, Brian; Reeves, Geoffrey; Wygant, John; Breneman, Aaron; Tian, Sheng; Connors, Martin; Donovan, Eric; Archer, William; MacDonald, Elizabeth;
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 11/2019
YEAR: 2019   DOI: 10.1029/2019GL082789
A comprehensive statistical analysis on 8 years of lower-band chorus wave packets measured by the Van Allen Probes and THEMIS spacecraft is performed to examine whether, when, and where these waves are above the theoretical threshold for nonlinear resonant wave-particle interaction. We find that \~5\textendash30\% of all chorus waves interact nonlinearly with \~30- to 300-keV electrons possessing equatorial pitch angles of >40\textdegree in the outer radiation belt, especially during disturbed (AE>500 nT) periods with energetic particles associated with injections from the plasma sheet. Such considerable occurrence rates of nonlinear interactions imply that the evolution of energetic electron fluxes should be dominated by nonlinear effects, rather than by quasi-linear diffusion as commonly assumed. We discuss the possible consequences of such a large amount of high-amplitude chorus waves and examine their characteristics that can influence the efficiency of nonlinear wave-particle interactions.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 06/2019
YEAR: 2019   DOI: 10.1029/2019GL083833
Electron scattering by chorus waves is an important mechanism that can lead to fast electron acceleration and loss in the outer radiation belt. Making use of Van Allen Probes measurements, we present the first statistical survey of megaelectron volt electron pitch angle and energy quasi-linear diffusion rates by chorus waves as a function of L-shell, local time, and AE index, taking into account the local electron plasma frequency to gyrofrequency ratio ωpe/Ωce, chorus wave frequency, and resonance wave amplitude. We demonstrate that during disturbed periods, ωpe/Ωce strongly decreases in the night sector, leading to a faster electron loss but also a much faster electron energization in two distinct regions just above the plasmapause and at L ~ 3.5\textendash5.5. Spatiotemporal variations of ωpe/Ωce with AE shape the evolution of electron energization in the outer belt, sometimes leading to very short time scales for quasi-linear megaelectron volt electron acceleration in agreement with Van Allen Probes observations.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 05/2019
YEAR: 2019   DOI: 10.1029/2019GL083446
While electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves have been long studied as a scattering mechanism for ultrarelativistic (megaelectron volt) electrons via cyclotron-resonant interactions, these waves are also of the right frequency to resonate with the bounce motion of lower-energy (approximately tens to hundreds of kiloelectron volts) electrons. Here we investigate the effectiveness of this bounce resonance interaction to better determine the effects of EMIC waves on subrelativistic electron populations in Earth\textquoterights inner magnetosphere. Using wave and plasma parameters directly measured by the Van Allen Probes, we estimate bounce resonance diffusion coefficients for four different events, illustrative of wave and plasma parameters to be encountered in the inner magnetosphere. The range of electron energies and pitch angles affected is examined to better assess the realistic effects of EMIC-driven bounce resonance on energetic electron populations based on actual, locally observed event-based parameters. Significant local diffusion coefficients (~ > 10-6 s-1) for 50- to 100-keV electrons are achieved for both H+ band wave events as well as He+ band, with diffusion coefficients peaking for near-90\textdegree pitch angles but remaining elevated for intermediate ones as well. Diffusion coefficients for higher-energy 200-keV electrons are typically multiple orders of magnitude lower (ranging from 10-11 to 10-6 s-1) and often peak at lower pitch angles (~20\textendash30\textdegree). These results suggest that both H+ and He+ band EMIC waves can play a role in shaping lower-energy electron dynamics via bounce-resonant interactions, in addition to their role in relativistic electron loss via cyclotron resonance.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 03/2019
YEAR: 2019   DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026427
Resonant electron interaction with whistler-mode chorus waves is recognized as one of the main drivers of radiation belt dynamics. For moderate wave intensity, this interaction is well described by quasi-linear theory. However, recent statistics of parallel propagating chorus waves have demonstrated that 5 - 20\% of the observed waves are sufficiently intense to interact nonlinearly with electrons. Such interactions include phase trapping and phase bunching (nonlinear scattering) effects not described by quasi-linear diffusion. For sufficiently long (large) wave-packets, these nonlinear effects can result in very rapid electron acceleration and scattering. In this paper we introduce a method to include trapping and nonlinear scattering into the kinetic equation describing the evolution of the electron distribution function. We use statistics of Van Allen Probes and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) observations to determine the probability distribution of intense, long wave-packets as a function of power and frequency. Then we develop an analytical model of individual particle resonance with an intense chorus wave-packet and derive the main properties of this interaction: probability of electron trapping, energy change due to trapping and nonlinear scattering. These properties are combined in a nonlocal operator acting on the electron distribution function. When multiple waves are present, we average the obtained operator over the observed distributions of waves and examine solutions of the resultant kinetic equation. We also examine energy conservation and its implications in systems with nonlinear wave-particle interaction.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 09/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025654
Determining solar wind and geomagnetic activity parameters most favorable to strong electron flux enhancements is an important step towards forecasting radiation belt dynamics. Using electron flux measurements from Global Positioning System satellites at L = 4.2 in 2009-2016, we seek statistical relationships between flux enhancements at different energies and solar wind dynamic pressure Pdyn, AE, and Kp, from hundreds of events inside and outside the plasmasphere. Most ⩾1 MeV electron flux enhancements occur during non-storm (or weak storm) times. Flux enhancements of 4 MeV electrons outside the plasmasphere occur during periods of low Pdyn and high AE. We perform superposed epoch analyses of GPS electron fluxes, along with solar wind and geomagnetic indices, 40 keV electron flux, ULF wave index from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), and chorus wave intensity from the Van Allen Probes and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission. We demonstrate that 4 MeV electron flux enhancements outside the plasmasphere start when the interplanetary magnetic field (Bz) reaches a minimum, and develop during periods of low Pdyn, high AE, low but increasing Dst, moderate ULF wave index, and intense chorus waves. Flux enhancements at 100 keV occur under conditions with higher Pdyn, higher ULF wave index, and elevated 40 keV electron flux at L = 6.6. Moreover, electron flux enhancements take much more time to develop at higher energies. This suggests that 100 keV flux enhancements are dominated by injections, while MeV electron energization is predominantly induced by chorus waves with further amplification by inward transport.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 06/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025497
We use 3 years of Van Allen Probes observations of highly oblique lower-band chorus waves at low latitudes over L = 4\textendash6 to provide a comprehensive statistics of the distribution of their magnetic and electric powers and full energy density as a function of wave refractive index N, L shell, and geomagnetic activity AE. We use the refractive index calculated either in the cold plasma approximation or in the quasi-electrostatic (hot plasma) approximation and either observed wave electric fields or corrected wave electric fields accounting for the formation of a plasma sheath around antenna probes in a low-density plasma. Approximate fits to the maximum refractive index and to the magnetic wave power profile of highly oblique waves are provided as a function of AE and L. Such fits should be useful for simulations of quasi-linear electron diffusion induced by very oblique chorus waves. The magnetic wave power of these oblique waves remains elevated and roughly constant up to higher N values at lower L < 5 and during less disturbed periods AE*<200 nT, likely due to the corresponding lower temperature of hot electrons injected from the plasma sheet, which leads to weaker thermal effects and Landau damping of these very oblique waves. The average energy density of lower-band chorus waves is mainly distributed from N = 30\textendash50 up to N = 150\textendash300, mostly corresponding to highly oblique waves even at low magnetic latitudes.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 06/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025337
The region occupying radial distances of \~3 - 9 Earth radii (RE) in the night side, includes the near-Earth plasma sheet with stretched magnetic field lines and the inner magnetosphere with strong dipolar magnetic field. In this region, the plasma flow energy, which was injected into the inner magnetosphere from the magnetotail, is converted to particle heating and electromagnetic wave generation. These important processes are controlled by plasma anisotropies, which are the focus of this study. Using measurements of THEMIS and Van Allen Probes in this transition region we obtain radial profiles of ion and electron temperatures and anisotropies for various geomagnetic activity levels. Ion and electron anisotropies vary with the geomagnetic activity in opposite directions. Parallel anisotropic ions are observed together with transversely anisotropic electrons, whereas the change of ion anisotropy from parallel to transverse (with increasing Kp) is accompanied by the electron anisotropy changing from transverse to parallel. Based on plasma anisotropy observations, we estimate that the anisotropy-related currents (curvature currents) are about 10 - 20\% of the diamagnetic currents.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 06/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025232
Resonant interactions between electrons and chorus waves are responsible for a wide range of phenomena in near-Earth space (e.g., diffuse aurora, acceleration of MeV electrons, etc.). Although quasi-linear diffusion is believed to be the primary paradigm for describing such interactions, an increasing number of investigations suggest that nonlinear effects are also important in controlling the rapid dynamics of electrons. However, present models of nonlinear wave-particle interactions, which have been successfully used to describe individual short-term events, are not directly applicable for a statistical evaluation of nonlinear effects and the long-term dynamics of the outer radiation belt, because they lack information on the properties of intense (nonlinearly resonating with electrons) chorus waves. In this paper, we use the THEMIS and Van Allen Probes datasets of field-aligned chorus waveforms to study two key characteristics of these waves: effective amplitude w (nonlinear interaction can occur when w > 2) and wave-packet length β (the number of wave periods within it). While as many as 10 - 15\% of chorus wave-packets are sufficiently intense (w > 2 - 3) to interact nonlinearly with relativistic electrons, most of them are short (β < 10) reducing the efficacy of such interactions. Revised models of non-linear interactions are thus needed to account for the long-term effects of these common, intense but short chorus wave packets. We also discuss the dependence of w, β on location (MLT, L-shell) and on the properties of the suprathermal electron population.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 06/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025390
One of the major drivers of radiation belt dynamics, electron resonant interaction with whistler-mode chorus waves, is traditionally described using the quasi-linear diffusion approximation. Such a description satisfactorily explains many observed phenomena, but its applicability can be justified only for sufficiently low intensity, long duration waves. Recent spacecraft observations of a large number of very intense lower band chorus waves (with magnetic field amplitudes sometimes reaching \~1\% of the background) therefore challenge this traditional description, and call for an alternative approach when addressing the global, long-term effects of the nonlinear interaction of these waves with radiation belt electrons. In this paper, we first use observations from the Van Allen Probes and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft to show that the majority of intense parallel chorus waves consists of relatively short wave-packets. Then, we construct a kinetic equation describing the nonlinear resonant interaction of radiation belt electrons with such short and intense wave-packets. We demonstrate that this peculiar type of nonlinear interaction produces similar effects as quasi-linear diffusion, i.e., a flattening of the electron velocity distribution function within a certain energy/pitch-angle range. The main difference is the much faster evolution of the electron distribution when nonlinear interaction prevails.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 05/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025417
Whistler mode chorus waves are particularly important in outer radiation belt dynamics due to their key role in controlling the acceleration and scattering of electrons over a very wide energy range. The efficiency of wave-particle resonant interactions is defined by whistler wave properties which have been described by the approximation of plane linear waves propagating through the cold plasma of the inner magnetosphere. However, recent observations of extremely high-amplitude whistlers suggest the importance of nonlinear wave-particle interactions for the dynamics of the outer radiation belt. Oblique chorus waves observed in the inner magnetosphere often exhibit drastically nonsinusoidal (with significant power in the higher harmonics) waveforms of the parallel electric field, presumably due to the feedback from hot resonant electrons. We have considered the nature and properties of such nonlinear whistler waves observed by the Van Allen Probes and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions define during Substorms in the inner magnetosphere, and we show that the significant enhancement of the wave electrostatic component can result from whistler wave coupling with the beam-driven electrostatic mode through the resonant interaction with hot electron beams. Being modulated by a whistler wave, the electron beam generates a driven electrostatic mode significantly enhancing the parallel electric field of the initial whistler wave. We confirm this mechanism using a self-consistent particle-in-cell simulation. The nonlinear electrostatic component manifests properties of the beam-driven electron acoustic mode and can be responsible for effective electron acceleration in the inhomogeneous magnetic field.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 03/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076957
Chorus waves are among the most important natural electromagnetic emissions in the magnetosphere as regards their potential effects on electron dynamics. They can efficiently accelerate or precipitate electrons trapped in the outer radiation belt, producing either fast increases of relativistic particle fluxes, or auroras at high latitudes. Accurately modeling their effects, however, requires detailed models of their wave power and obliquity distribution as a function of geomagnetic activity in a particularly wide spatial domain, rarely available based solely on the statistics obtained from only one satellite mission. Here, we seize the opportunity of synthesizing data from the Van Allen Probes and Cluster spacecraft to provide a new comprehensive chorus wave model in the outer radiation belt. The respective spatial coverages of these two missions are shown to be especially complementary and further allow a good cross-calibration in the overlap domain. We used 4 years (2012-2016) of Van Allen Probes VLF data in the chorus frequency range up to 12 kHz at latitudes lower than 20 degrees, combined with 10 years of Cluster VLF measurements up to 4 kHz in order to provide a full coverage of geomagnetic latitudes up to 45 degrees in the chorus frequency range 0.1fce-0.8fce. The resulting synthetic statistical model of chorus wave amplitude, obliquity, and frequency is presented in the form of analytical functions of latitude and Kp in three different MLT sectors and for two ranges of L-shells outside the plasmasphere. Such a synthetic and reliable chorus model is crucially important for accurately modeling global acceleration and loss of electrons over the long run in the outer radiation belt, allowing a comprehensive description of electron flux variations over a very wide energy range.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 12/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024843
Satellite observations of a significant population of very oblique chorus waves in the outer radiation belt have fueled considerable interest in the effects of these waves on energetic electron scattering and acceleration. However, corresponding diffusion rates are extremely sensitive to the refractive index N, controlled by hot plasma effects including Landau damping and wave dispersion modifications by suprathermal (15\textendash100 eV) electrons. A combined investigation of wave and electron distribution characteristics obtained from the Van Allen Probes shows that peculiarities of the measured electron distribution significantly reduce Landau damping, allowing wave propagation with high N \~ 100\textendash200. Further comparing measured refractive indexes with theoretical estimates incorporating hot plasma corrections to the wave dispersion, we provide the first experimental demonstration that suprathermal electrons indeed control the upper limit of the refractive index of highly oblique whistler mode waves. Such results further support the importance of incorporating very oblique waves into radiation belt models.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 12/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075892
The high variability of relativistic (MeV) electron fluxes in the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts is partly controlled by loss processes involving resonant interactions with electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) and whistler-mode waves. But as previous statistical models were generated independently for each wave mode, whether simultaneous electron scattering by the two wave types has global importance remains an open question. Using >3 years of simultaneous Van Allen Probes and THEMIS measurements, we explore the contemporaneous presence of EMIC and whistler-mode waves in the same L-shell, albeit at different local times, determining the distribution of wave and plasma parameters as a function of L, Kp, and AE. We derive electron lifetimes from observations and provide the first statistics of combined effects of EMIC and whistler-mode wave scattering on MeV electrons as a function of L and geomagnetic activity. We show that MeV electron lifetimes are often strongly reduced by such combined scattering.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 07/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073886
Whistler-mode Very Low Frequency (VLF) waves from powerful ground-based transmitters can resonantly scatter energetic plasmaspheric electrons and precipitate them into the atmosphere. A comprehensive 4-year statistics of Van Allen Probes measurements is carried out to assess their consequences on the dynamics of the inner radiation belt and slot region. Statistical models of the measured wave electric field power and of the inferred full wave magnetic amplitude are provided as a function of L, magnetic local time, season, and Kp over L=1-3, revealing the localization of VLF wave intensity and its variation with geomagnetic activity over 2012-2016. Since this VLF wave model can be directly used together with existing hiss and lightning-generated wave models in radiation belt simulation codes, we perform numerical calculations of the corresponding quasilinear pitch angle diffusion rates, allowing us to demonstrate the crucial role played by VLF waves from transmitters in energetic electron loss at L<2.5.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 06/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073885
The Van Allen Probes observe generally two types of electrostatic solitary waves (ESW) contributing to the broadband electrostatic wave activity in the nightside inner magnetosphere. ESW with symmetric bipolar parallel electric field are electron phase space holes. The nature of ESW with asymmetric bipolar (and almost unipolar) parallel electric field has remained puzzling. To address their nature, we consider a particular event observed by Van Allen Probes to argue that during the broadband wave activity electrons with energy above 200 eV provide the dominant contribution to the total electron density, while the density of cold electrons (below a few eV) is less than a few tenths of the total electron density. We show that velocities of the asymmetric ESW are close to velocity of electron-acoustic waves (existing due to the presence of cold and hot electrons) and follow the Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) dispersion relation derived for the observed plasma conditions (electron energy spectrum is a power law between about 100 eV and 10 keV and Maxwellian above 10 keV). The ESW spatial scales are in general agreement with the KdV theory. We interpret the asymmetric ESW in terms of electron-acoustic solitons and double layers (shocks waves).
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 05/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074026
Van Allen Probes have detected nonlinear electrostatic spikes around injection fronts in the outer radiation belt. These spikes include electron holes (EH), double layers, and more complicated solitary waves. We show that EHs can efficiently scatter electrons due to their substantial transverse electric fields. Although the electron scattering driven by EHs is diffusive, it cannot be evaluated via the standard quasi-linear theory. We derive analytical formulas describing local electron scattering by a single EH and verify them via test particle simulations. We show that the most efficiently scattered are gyroresonant electrons (crossing EH on a time scale comparable to the local electron gyroperiod). We compute bounce-averaged diffusion coefficients and demonstrate their dependence on the EH spatial distribution (latitudinal extent and spatial filling factor) and individual EH parameters (amplitude of electrostatic potential, velocity, and spatial scales). We show that EHs can drive pitch angle scattering of math formula5 keV electrons at rates 10-2-10-4 s-1 and, hence, can contribute to electron losses and conjugated diffuse aurora brightenings. The momentum and pitch angle scattering rates can be comparable, so that EHs can also provide efficient electron heating. The scattering rates driven by EHs at L shells L \~ 5\textendash8 are comparable to those due to chorus waves and may exceed those due to electron cyclotron harmonics.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 03/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023337
Charged particle acceleration in the Earth inner magnetosphere is believed to be mainly due to the local resonant wave-particle interaction or particle transport processes. However, the Van Allen Probes have recently provided interesting evidence of a relatively slow transverse heating of eV ions at distances about 2\textendash3 Earth radii during quiet times. Waves that are able to resonantly interact with such very cold ions are generally rare in this region of space, called the plasmasphere. Thus, non-resonant wave-particle interactions are expected to play an important role in the observed ion heating. We demonstrate that stochastic heating by random transverse electric field fluctuations of whistler (and possibly electromagnetic ion cyclotron) waves could explain this weak and slow transverse heating of H+ and O+ ions in the inner magnetosphere. The essential element of the proposed model of ion heating is the presence of trains of random whistler (hiss) wave packets, with significant amplitude modulations produced by strong wave damping, rapid wave growth, or a superposition of wave packets of different frequencies, phases, and amplitudes. Such characteristics correspond to measured characteristics of hiss waves in this region. Using test particle simulations with typical wave and plasma parameters, we demonstrate that the corresponding stochastic transverse ion heating reaches 0.07\textendash0.2 eV/h for protons and 0.007\textendash0.015 eV/h for O+ ions. This global temperature increase of the Maxwellian ion population from an initial Ti\~0.3Ti\~0.3 eV could potentially explain the observations.
Published by: Physics of Plasmas Published on: 02/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1063/1.4976713
Van Allen Probes have detected electron holes (EHs) around injection fronts in the outer radiation belt. Presumably generated near equator, EHs propagate to higher latitudes potentially resulting in energization of electrons trapped within EHs. This process has been recently shown to provide electrons with energies up to several tens of keV and requires EH propagation up to rather high latitudes. We have analyzed more than 100 EHs observed around a particular injection to determine their kinetic structure and potential energy sources supporting the energization of trapped electrons. EHs propagate with velocities from 1000 to 20,000 km/s (a few times larger than the thermal velocity of the coldest background electron population). The parallel scale of observed EHs is from 0.3 to 3 km that is of the order of hundred Debye lengths. The perpendicular to parallel scale ratio is larger than one in a qualitative agreement with the theoretical scaling relation. The amplitudes of EH electrostatic potentials are generally below 100 V. We determine the properties of the electron population trapped within EHs by making use of the Bernstein-Green-Kruskal analysis and via analysis of EH magnetic field signatures. The density of the trapped electron population is on average 20\% of the background electron density. The perpendicular temperature of the trapped population is on average 300 eV and is larger for faster EHs. We show that energy losses of untrapped electrons scattered by EHs in the inhomogeneous background magnetic field may balance the energization of trapped electrons.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 12/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023083
Excitation mechanisms of highly oblique, quasi-electrostatic lower band chorus waves are investigated using Van Allen Probes observations near the equator of the Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere. Linear growth rates are evaluated based on in situ, measured electron velocity distributions and plasma conditions and compared with simultaneously observed wave frequency spectra and wave normal angles. Accordingly, two distinct excitation mechanisms of highly oblique lower band chorus have been clearly identified for the first time. The first mechanism relies on cyclotron resonance with electrons possessing both a realistic temperature anisotropy at keV energies and a plateau at 100\textendash500 eV in the parallel velocity distribution. The second mechanism corresponds to Landau resonance with a 100\textendash500 eV beam. In both cases, a small low-energy beam-like component is necessary for suppressing an otherwise dominating Landau damping. Our new findings suggest that small variations in the electron distribution could have important impacts on energetic electron dynamics.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 09/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/grl.v43.1710.1002/2016GL070386
We present multipoint observations of earthward moving dipolarization fronts and energetic particle injections from NASA\textquoterights Magnetospheric Multiscale mission with a focus on electron acceleration. From a case study during a substorm on 02 August 2015, we find that electrons are only accelerated over a finite energy range, from a lower energy threshold at ~7\textendash9 keV up to an upper energy cutoff in the hundreds of keV range. At energies lower than the threshold energy, electron fluxes decrease, potentially due to precipitation by strong parallel electrostatic wavefields or initial sources in the lobes. Electrons at energies higher than the threshold are accelerated cumulatively by a series of impulsive magnetic dipolarization events. This case demonstrates how the upper energy cutoff increases, in this case from ~130 keV to >500 keV, with each dipolarization/injection during sustained activity. We also present a simple model accounting for these energy limits that reveals that electron energization is dominated by betatron acceleration.
Turner, D.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Clemmons, J.; Mauk, B.; Cohen, I.; Jaynes, A.; Craft, J.; Wilder, F.; Baker, D.; Reeves, G.; Gershman, D.; Avanov, L.; Dorelli, J.; Giles, B.; Pollock, C.; Schmid, D.; Nakamura, R.; Strangeway, R.; Russell, C.; Artemyev, A.; Runov, A.; Angelopoulos, V.; Spence, H.; Torbert, R.; Burch, J.;
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 08/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069691
In this paper we review recent spacecraft observations of oblique whistler-mode waves in the Earth\textquoterights inner magnetosphere as well as the various consequences of the presence of such waves for electron scattering and acceleration. In particular, we survey the statistics of occurrences and intensity of oblique chorus waves in the region of the outer radiation belt, comprised between the plasmapause and geostationary orbit, and discuss how their actual distribution may be explained by a combination of linear and non-linear generation, propagation, and damping processes. We further examine how such oblique wave populations can be included into both quasi-linear diffusion models and fully nonlinear models of wave-particle interaction. On this basis, we demonstrate that varying amounts of oblique waves can significantly change the rates of particle scattering, acceleration, and precipitation into the atmosphere during quiet times as well as in the course of a storm. Finally, we discuss possible generation mechanisms for such oblique waves in the radiation belts. We demonstrate that oblique whistler-mode chorus waves can be considered as an important ingredient of the radiation belt system and can play a key role in many aspects of wave-particle resonant interactions.
Published by: Space Science Reviews Published on: 04/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1007/s11214-016-0252-5
Data from the Van Allen Probes have provided the first extensive evidence of nonlinear (as opposed to quasi-linear) wave-particle interactions in space with the associated rapid (less than a bounce period) electron acceleration to hundreds of keV by Landau resonance in the parallel electric field of time domain structures (TDSs) traveling at high speeds (~20,000 km/s). This observational evidence is supported by simulations and discussion of the source and spatial extent of the fast TDS. This result indicates the possibility that the electrostatic fields in TDS may generate the electron seed population for cyclotron resonance interaction with chorus waves to make higher-energy electrons.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 01/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/2015GL067316
Simultaneous observations of electron velocity distributions and chorus waves by the Van Allen Probe B are analyzed to identify long-lasting (more than 6 h) signatures of electron Landau resonant interactions with oblique chorus waves in the outer radiation belt. Such Landau resonant interactions result in the trapping of \~1\textendash10 keV electrons and their acceleration up to 100\textendash300 keV. This kind of process becomes important for oblique whistler mode waves having a significant electric field component along the background magnetic field. In the inhomogeneous geomagnetic field, such resonant interactions then lead to the formation of a plateau in the parallel (with respect to the geomagnetic field) velocity distribution due to trapping of electrons into the wave effective potential. We demonstrate that the electron energy corresponding to the observed plateau remains in very good agreement with the energy required for Landau resonant interaction with the simultaneously measured oblique chorus waves over 6 h and a wide range of L shells (from 4 to 6) in the outer belt. The efficient parallel acceleration modifies electron pitch angle distributions at energies \~50\textendash200 keV, allowing us to distinguish the energized population. The observed energy range and the density of accelerated electrons are in reasonable agreement with test particle numerical simulations.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 12/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066887
Data from the Van Allen Probes have provided the first extensive evidence of non-linear (as opposed to quasi-linear) wave-particle interactions in space, with the associated rapid (fraction of a bounce period) electron acceleration, to hundreds of keV by Landau resonance, in the parallel electric fields of time domain structures (TDS) and very oblique chorus waves. The experimental evidence, simulations, and theories of these processes are discussed.
Published by: Advances in Astronomy and Space Physics Published on: 12/2015
Accurate modeling of wave-particle interactions in the radiation belts requires detailed information on wave amplitudes and wave-normal angular distributions over L shells, magnetic latitudes, magnetic local times, and for various geomagnetic activity conditions. In this work, we develop a new and comprehensive parametric model of VLF chorus waves amplitudes and obliqueness in the outer radiation belt using statistics of VLF measurements performed in the chorus frequency range during 10 years (2001\textendash2010) aboard the Cluster spacecraft. We used data from the Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Field Fluctuations-Spectrum Analyzer experiment, which spans a total frequency range from 8 Hz to 4 kHz. The statistical model is presented in the form of an analytical function of latitude and Kp (or Dst) index for day and night sectors of the magnetosphere and for two ranges of L shells above the plasmapause, from L = 4 to 5 and from L = 5 to 7. This model can be directly applied for numerical calculations of charged particle pitch angle and energy diffusion coefficients in the outer radiation belt, allowing to study with unprecedented detail their statistical properties as well as their important spatiotemporal variations with geomagnetic activity.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 12/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021829
Van Allen Probes observations in the outer radiation belt have demonstrated an abundance of electrostatic electron-acoustic double layers (DL). DLs are frequently accompanied by field-aligned (bidirectional) pitch angle distributions (PAD) of electrons with energies from hundred eVs up to several keV. We perform numerical simulations of the DL interaction with thermal electrons making use of the test particle approach. DL parameters assumed in the simulations are adopted from observations. We show that DLs accelerate thermal electrons parallel to the magnetic field via the electrostatic Fermi mechanism, i.e., due to reflections from DL potential humps. The electron energy gain is larger for larger DL scalar potential amplitudes and higher propagation velocities. In addition to the Fermi mechanism, electrons can be trapped by DLs in their generation region and accelerated due to transport to higher latitudes. Both mechanisms result in formation of field-aligned PADs for electrons with energies comparable to those found in observations. The Fermi mechanism provides field-aligned PADs for <1 keV electrons, while the trapping mechanism extends field-aligned PADs to higher-energy electrons. It is shown that the Fermi mechanism can result in scattering into the loss cone of up to several tenths of percent of electrons with flux peaking at energies up to several hundred eVs.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 10/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021644
In the present paper, we investigate the trapping of relativistic electrons by intense whistler-mode waves or electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves in the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. We consider the non-resonant impact of additional, lower amplitude magnetic field fluctuations on the stability of electron trapping. We show that such additional non-resonant fluctuations can break the adiabatic invariant corresponding to trapped electron oscillations in the effective wave potential. This destruction results in a diffusive escape of electrons from the trapped regime of motion and thus can lead to a significant reduction of the efficiency of electron acceleration. We demonstrate that when energetic electrons are trapped by intense parallel or very oblique whistler-mode waves, non-resonant magnetic field fluctuations in the whistler-mode frequency range with moderate amplitudes around 3-15 pT (much less intense than the primary waves) can totally disrupt the trapped motion. However, the trapping of relativistic electrons by electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves is noticeably more stable. We also discuss how the proposed approach can be used to estimate the effects of wave amplitude modulations on the motion of trapped particles.
Published by: Physics of Plasmas Published on: 08/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1063/1.4927774
Modeling the spatio-temporal evolution of relativistic electron fluxes trapped in the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts in the presence of radial diffusion coupled with wave-induced losses should address one important question: how deep can relativistic electrons penetrate into the inner magnetosphere? However, a full modelling requires extensive numerical simulations solving the comprehensive quasi-linear equations describing pitch-angle and radial diffusion of the electron distribution, making it rather difficult to perform parametric studies of the flux behavior. Here, we consider the particular situation where a localized flux peak (or storage ring) has been produced at low L < 4 during a period of strong disturbances, through a combination of chorus-induced energy diffusion (or direct injection) at low L together with enhanced wave-induced losses and outward radial transport at higher L. Assuming that radial diffusion can be further described as the spatial broadening within the plasmasphere of this pre-existing flux peak, simple approximate analytical solutions for the distribution of trapped relativistic electrons are derived. Such a simplified formalism provides a convenient means for easily determining whether radial diffusion actually prevails over atmospheric losses at any particular time for given electron energy E and location L. It is further used to infer favorable conditions for relativistic electron access to the inner belt, providing an explanation for the relative scarcity of such a feat under most circumstances. Comparisons with electron flux measurements on board the Van Allen Probes show a reasonable agreement between a few weeks and four months after the formation of a flux peak.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 08/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021623
In this paper, we study relativistic electron scattering by fast magnetosonic waves. We compare results of test particle simulations and the quasi-linear theory for different spectra of waves to investigate how a fine structure of the wave emission can influence electron resonant scattering. We show that for a realistically wide distribution of wave normal angles theta (i.e., when the dispersion delta theta >= 0.5 degrees), relativistic electron scattering is similar for a wide wave spectrum and for a spectrum consisting in well-separated ion cyclotron harmonics. Comparisons of test particle simulations with quasi-linear theory show that for delta theta > 0.5 degrees, the quasi-linear approximation describes resonant scattering correctly for a large enough plasma frequency. For a very narrow h distribution (when delta theta >= 0.05 degrees), however, the effect of a fine structure in the wave spectrum becomes important. In this case, quasi-linear theory clearly fails in describing accurately electron scattering by fast magnetosonic waves. We also study the effect of high wave amplitudes on relativistic electron scattering. For typical conditions in the earth\textquoterights radiation belts, the quasi-linear approximation cannot accurately describe electron scattering for waves with averaged amplitudes > 300 pT. We discuss various applications of the obtained results for modeling electron dynamics in the radiation belts and in the Earth\textquoterights magnetotail. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.
Published by: Physics of Plasmas Published on: 06/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1063/1.4922061
Huge numbers of different non-linear structures (double layers, electron holes, non-linear whistlers, etc. referred to as Time Domain Structures - TDS) have been observed by the electric field experiment on the Van Allen Probes. Some of them are associated with whistler waves. Such TDS often emerge on the forward edges of the whistler wave packets and form chains. The parametric decay of a whistler wave into a whistler wave propagating in the opposite direction and an electron acoustic wave is studied experimentally as well as analytically, using Van Allen Probes data. The resulting electron acoustic wave is considered to be the source of electron scale TDS. The measured parameters of the three waves (two whistlers and the electron acoustic wave) are in a good agreement with an assumption of their parametric interaction: ω0 = ω1 + ω2 and inline image. The bi-coherence analysis shows the non-linear nature of the observed electron-acoustic waves as well as the whistler wave and electron acoustic wave phase relation. The estimated decay instability growth rate shows that the process of three wave interaction can develop in a characteristic time smaller than one second, thus the process is rapid enough to explain the observations. This induced parametric interaction can be one of the mechanisms for quasi-periodic TDS generation in the outer Van Allen radiation belt.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 05/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064145
Whistler-mode emissions are important electromagnetic waves pervasive in the Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere, where they continuously remove or energize electrons trapped by the geomagnetic field, controlling radiation hazards to satellites and astronauts and the upper-atmosphere ionization or chemical composition. Here, we report an analysis of 10-year Cluster data, statistically evaluating the full wave energy budget in the Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere, revealing that a significant fraction of the energy corresponds to hitherto generally neglected very oblique waves. Such waves, with 10 times smaller magnetic power than parallel waves, typically have similar total energy. Moreover, they carry up to 80\% of the wave energy involved in wave\textendashparticle resonant interactions. It implies that electron heating and precipitation into the atmosphere may have been significantly under/over-valued in past studies considering only conventional quasi-parallel waves. Very oblique waves may turn out to be a crucial agent of energy redistribution in the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts, controlled by solar activity.
Published by: Nature Communications Published on: 05/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8143
Intense (~5-15 mV/m), short-lived (<=1 min) electric field pulses have been observed to accompany earthward-propagating, dipolarizing flux bundles (DFB; flux tubes with a strong magnetic field) before they are stopped by the strong dipole field. Using Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS) observations and test particle modeling, we investigate particle acceleration around L-shell ~7-9 in the nightside magnetosphere and demonstrate that such pulses can effectively accelerate ions with tens of keV initial energy to hundreds of keV. This acceleration occurs because the ion gyroradius is comparable to the spatial scale of the localized electric field pulse at the leading edge of the flux bundle before it stops. The proposed acceleration mechanism can reproduce observed spectra of high-energy ions. We conclude thatthe electric field associated with dipolarizing flux bundles prior to their stoppage in the inner magnetosphere provides a natural site for intense local ion acceleration.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 05/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021160
In this paper we investigate the scattering of relativistic electrons in the night-side outer radiation belt (around the geostationary orbit). We consider the particular case of low geomagnetic activity (|Dst|< 20 nT), quiet conditions in the solar wind, and absence of whistler wave emissions. For such conditions we find several events of Van-Allen probe observations of butterfly pitch-angle distributions of relativistic electrons (energies about 1-3 MeV). Many previous publications have described such pitch-angle distributions over a wide energy range as due to the combined effect of outward radial diffusion and magnetopause shadowing. In this paper we discuss another mechanism that produces butterfly distributions over a limited range of electron energies. We suggest that such distributions can be shaped due to relativistic electron scattering in the equatorial plane of magnetic field lines that are locally deformed by currents of hot ions injected into the inner magnetosphere. Analytical estimates, test particle simulations and observations of the AE index support this scenario. We conclude that even in the rather quiet magnetosphere, small scale (MLT-localized) injection of hot ions from the magnetotail can likely influence the relativistic electron scattering. Thus, observations of butterfly pitch-angle distributions can serve as an indicator of magnetic field deformations in the night-side inner magnetosphere. We briefly discuss possible theoretical approaches and problems formodeling such nonadiabatic electron scattering.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 05/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020865
We analyze electron holes that are spikes of the electrostatic field (up to 500 mV/m) observed by Van Allen Probes in the outer radiation belt. The unexpected feature is the magnetic field depression of about several tens of picotesla within many of the spikes. The earlier observations showed amplification or negligible perturbations of the magnetic field within the electron holes. We suggest that the observed magnetic field depression is due to the diamagnetic current of hot and highly anisotropic population of electrons trapped within the electron holes. The required trapped population should have a density up to 65\% of the background plasma density, a temperature up to several keV, and a temperature anisotropy T⊥/T||\~2. We argue that the observed electron holes could be generated due to injections of highly anisotropic plasma sheet electrons into the outer radiation belt. These electron holes may present a source of the seed population due to transport of trapped electrons to higher latitudes and can be potentially used for distant probing of plasma properties in their source region.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 04/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063370
Time Domain Structures (TDS) (electrostatic or electromagnetic electron holes, solitary waves, double layers, etc.) are >=1 msec pulses having significant parallel (to the background magnetic field) electric fields. They are abundant through space and occur in packets of hundreds in the outer Van Allen radiation belts where they produce magnetic-field-aligned electron pitch angle distributions at energies up to a hundred keV. TDS can provide the seed electrons that are later accelerated to relativistic energies by whistlers and they also produce field-aligned electrons that may be responsible for some types of auroras. These field-aligned electron distributions result from at least three processes. The first process is parallel acceleration by Landau trapping in the TDS parallel electric field. The second process is Fermi acceleration due to reflection of electrons by the TDS. The third process is an effective and rapid pitch angle scattering resulting from electron interactions with the perpendicular and parallel electric and magnetic fields of many TDS. TDS are created by current-driven and beam-related instabilities and by whistler-related processes such as parametric decay of whistlers and non-linear evolution from oblique whistlers. New results on the temporal relationship of TDS and particle injections, types of field-aligned electron pitch angle distributions produced by TDS, the mechanisms for generation of field-aligned distributions by TDS, the maximum energies of field-aligned electrons created by TDS in the absence of whistler mode waves, TDS generation by oblique whistlers and three-wave-parametric decay, and the correlation between TDS and auroral particle precipitation, are presented.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 04/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063946
Whistler-mode chorus waves are present throughout the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt as well as at larger distances from our planet. While the generation mechanisms of parallel lower-band chorus waves and oblique upper-band chorus waves have been identified and checked in various instances, the statistically significant presence in recent satellite observations of very oblique lower-band chorus waves near the resonance cone angle remains to be explained. Here we discuss two possible generation mechanisms for such waves. The first one is based on Landau resonance with sporadic very low energy (<4 keV) electron beams either injected from the plasmasheet or produced in situ. The second one relies on cyclotron resonance with low energy electron streams, such that their velocity distribution possesses both a significant temperature anisotropy above 3-4 keV and a plateau or heavy tail in parallel velocities at lower energies encompassing simultaneous Landau resonance with the same waves. The corresponding frequency and wave normal angle distributions of the generated very oblique lower-band chorus waves, as well as their frequency sweep rate, are evaluated analytically and compared with satellite observations, showing a reasonable agreement.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 04/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021135
Chorus-type whistler waves are one of the most intense electromagnetic waves generated naturally in the magnetosphere. These waves have a substantial impact on the radiation belt dynamics as they are thought to contribute to electron acceleration and losses into the ionosphere through resonant wave\textendashparticle interaction. Our study is devoted to the determination of chorus wave power distribution on frequency in a wide range of magnetic latitudes, from 0 to 40\textdegree. We use 10 years of magnetic and electric field wave power measured by STAFF-SA onboard Cluster spacecraft to model the initial (equatorial) chorus wave spectral power, as well as PEACE and RAPID measurements to model the properties of energetic electrons (~ 0.1\textendash100 keV) in the outer radiation belt. The dependence of this distribution upon latitude obtained from Cluster STAFF-SA is then consistently reproduced along a certain L-shell range (4 <= L <= 6.5), employing WHAMP-based ray tracing simulations in hot plasma within a realistic inner magnetospheric model. We show here that, as latitude increases, the chorus peak frequency is globally shifted towards lower frequencies. Making use of our simulations, the peak frequency variations can be explained mostly in terms of wave damping and amplification, but also cross-L propagation. These results are in good agreement with previous studies of chorus wave spectral extent using data from different spacecraft (Cluster, POLAR and THEMIS). The chorus peak frequency variations are then employed to calculate the pitch angle and energy diffusion rates, resulting in more effective pitch angle electron scattering (electron lifetime is halved) but less effective acceleration. These peak frequency parameters can thus be used to improve the accuracy of diffusion coefficient calculations.
Published by: Annales Geophysicae Published on: 01/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.5194/angeo-33-583-2015
The distribution of trapped energetic electrons inside the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts is the focus of intense studies aiming at better describing the evolution of the space environment in the presence of various disturbances induced by the solar wind or by an enhanced lightning activity. Such studies are usually performed by means of comparisons with full numerical simulations solving the Fokker-Planck quasi-linear diffusion equation for the particle distribution function. Here, we present for the first time approximate but realistic analytical solutions for the electron distribution, which are shown to be in good agreement with exact numerical solutions in situations where resonant scattering of energetic electrons by whistler-mode hiss, lightning-generated or chorus waves, is the dominant process. Quiet-time distributions are well-recovered, as well as the evolution of energized relativistic electron distributions during disturbed geomagnetic conditions. It is further shown that careful comparisons between the analytical solutions and measured distributions may allow to infer important bounce and drift averaged wave characteristics (such as wave amplitude). It could also help to improve the global understanding of underlying physical phenomena.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 11/2014
YEAR: 2014   DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020443
Wave normal distributions of lower-band whistler-mode waves observed outside the plasmapause exhibit two peaks; one near the parallel direction and the other at very oblique angles. We analyze a number of conjunction events between the Van Allen Probes near the equatorial plane and POES satellites at conjugate low altitudes, where lower-band whistler-mode wave amplitudes were inferred from the two-directional POES electron measurements over 30\textendash100 keV, assuming that these waves were quasi-parallel. For conjunction events, the wave amplitudes inferred from the POES electron measurements were found to be overestimated as compared with the Van Allen Probes measurements primarily for oblique waves and quasi-parallel waves with small wave amplitudes (< ~20 pT) measured at low latitudes. This provides plausible experimental evidence of stronger pitch-angle scattering loss caused by oblique waves than by quasi-parallel waves with the same magnetic wave amplitudes, as predicted by numerical calculations.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 08/2014
YEAR: 2014   DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061260
We present an analytical, simplified formulation accounting for the fast transport of relativistic electrons in phase space due to wave-particle resonant interactions in the inhomogeneous magnetic field of Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. We show that the usual description of the evolution of the particle velocity distribution based on the Fokker-Planck equation can be modified to incorporate nonlinear processes of wave-particle interaction, including particle trapping. Such a modification consists in one additional operator describing fast particle jumps in phase space. The proposed, general approach is used to describe the acceleration of relativistic electrons by oblique whistler waves in the radiation belts. We demonstrate that for a wave power distribution with a hard enough power law tail inline image such that η < 5/2, the efficiency of nonlinear acceleration could be more effective than the conventional quasi-linear acceleration for 100 keV electrons.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 08/2014
YEAR: 2014   DOI: 10.1002/grl.v41.1610.1002/2014GL061380
In this paper we investigate the resonant interaction of thermal ~10-100 eV electrons with a burst of electrostatic field that results in electron acceleration to kilovolt energies. This single burst contains a large parallel electric field of one sign and a much smaller, longer lasting parallel field of the opposite sign. The Van Allen Probe spacecraft often observes clusters of spatially localized bursts in the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belts. These structures propagate mostly away from thegeomagnetic equator and share properties of soliton-like nonlinear electron-acoustic waves: a velocity of propagation is about the thermal velocity of cold electrons (~3000-10000 km/s), and a spatial scale of electric field localization alongthe field lines is about the Debye radius of hot electrons (~5-30 km). We model the nonlinear resonant interaction of these electric field structures and cold background electrons.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 08/2014
YEAR: 2014   DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061248