• Clicking on the title will open a new window with all details of the bibliographic entry.
  • Clicking on the DOI link will open a new window with the original bibliographic entry from the publisher.
  • Clicking on a single author will show all publications by the selected author.
  • Clicking on a single keyword, will show all publications by the selected keyword.

Found 32 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 32


Statistics of Magnetosonic Waves in the Slot Region Observed by Van Allen Probes

Abstract We perform a statistical analysis of magnetosonic waves in the slot region based on Van Allen Probes observations from September 2012 to February 2018. Our results demonstrate that the wave occurrence rate increases with enhanced geomagnetic activity and decreasing magnetic latitude, with the presence of strongest slot region magnetosonic waves near the geomagnetic equator within the 08-20 MLT sector. Power spectral densities of slot region magnetosonic waves also intensify during geomagnetically active times, with the occurrence of the major wave power (>∼10-5nT2/Hz) below ∼25fcp (where fcp is the proton gyrofrequency) and the peak wave intensity (∼10-3nT2/Hz) below ∼5fcp at L>∼2.6. A remarkable gap in the magnetosonic wave frequency spectrum is also revealed at < ∼15fcp during weak substorm activities (AE 300nT).

Yan, Ling; Cao, Xing; Hua, Man; Ni, Binbin; Zhang, Yuannong;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 06/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

magnetosonic waves; Slot region; Statistical distribution; Van Allen Probes

Empirical loss timescales of slot region electrons due to plasmaspheric hiss based on Van Allen Probes observations

Abstract Based on Van Allen Probes observations, in this study we perform a statistical analysis of the spectral intensities of plasmaspheric hiss at L-shells of 1.8 – 3.0 in the slot region. Our results show that slot region hiss power intensifies with a strong day-night asymmetry as the level of substorm activity or L-shell increases. Using the statistical spectral profiles of plasmaspheric hiss, we calculate the drift- and bounce-averaged electron pitch angle diffusion coefficients and subsequently obtain the resultant electron loss timescales through 1-D Fokker-Planck simulations. We find that slot region electron loss timescales vary significantly from <1 day to several years, showing a strong dependence on electron energy, L-shell and substorm activity. We also construct an empirical model of slot region electron loss timescales due to scattering by plasmaspheric hiss, which agrees well with the 1-D simulation results and can be readily used in modeling the dynamics of slot region electrons. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Zhu, Qi; Cao, Xing; Gu, Xudong; Ni, Binbin; Xiang, Zheng; Fu, Song; Summers, Danny; Hua, Man; Lou, Yuequn; Ma, Xin; Guo, YingJie; Guo, DeYu; Zhang, Wenxun;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Plasmaspheric Hiss; Slot region; Electron loss timescales; Van Allen Probes

Prediction of Dynamic Plasmapause Location Using a Neural Network

Abstract As a common boundary layer that distinctly separates the regions of high-density plasmasphere and low-density plasmatrough, the plasmapause is essential to comprehend the dynamics and variability of the inner magnetosphere. Using the machine learning framework Pytorch and high-quality Van Allen Probes data set, we develop a neural network model to predict the global dynamic variation of the plasmapause location, along with the identification of 6537 plasmapause crossing events during the period from 2012 to 2017. To avoid the overfitting and optimize the model generalization, 5493 events during the period from September 2012 to December 2015 are adopted for division into the training set and validation set in terms of the 10-fold cross validation method, and the remaining 1044 events are used as the test set. The model parameterized by only AE or Kp index can reproduce the plasmapause locations similar to those modeled using all five considered solar wind and geomagnetic parameters. Model evaluation on the test set indicate that our neural network model is capable of predicting the plasmapause location with the lowest RMSE. Our model can also produce a smooth MLT variation of the plasmapause location with good accuracy, which can be incorporated into global radiation belt simulations and space weather forecasts under a variety of geomagnetic conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Guo, DeYu; Fu, Song; Xiang, Zheng; Ni, Binbin; Guo, YingJie; Feng, Minghang; Guo, JianGuang; Hu, Zejun; Gu, Xudong; Zhu, Jianan; Cao, Xing; Wang, Qi;

Published by: Space Weather      Published on: 03/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Plasmapause; neural network; Van Allen Probes; space weather forecast

Global distribution of reversed energy spectra of ring current protons based on Van Allen Probes observations

Abstract Energy spectra of ring current protons are crucial to understanding the ring current dynamics. Based on high-quality Van Allen Probes RBSPICE measurements, we investigate the global distribution of the reversed proton energy spectra using the 2013-2019 RBSPICE datasets. The reversed proton energy spectra are characterized by the distinct flux minima around 50 - 100 keV and flux maxima around 200 - 400 keV. Our results show that the reversed proton energy spectrum is prevalent inside the plasmasphere, with the occurrence rates > 90\% at L ∼2 - 4 during geomagnetically quiet periods. Its occurrence also manifests a significant decrease trend with increasing L-shell and enhanced geomagnetic activity. It is indicated that the substorm-associated and/or convection processes are likely to lead to the disappearances of the reversed spectra. These results provide important clues for exploring the underlying physical mechanisms responsible for the formation and evolution of reversed proton energy spectra.

Juan, Yi; Song, Fu; Binbin, Ni; Xudong, Gu; Hua, Man; Xiang, Zheng; Cao, Xing; Shi, Run; Zhao, Yiwen;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 01/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Van Allen Probes


Statistical Distribution of Bifurcation of Earth s Inner Energetic Electron Belt at tens of keV

We present a survey of the bifurcation of the Earth s energetic electron belt (tens of keV) using 6-year measurements from Van Allen Probes. The inner energetic electron belt usually presents one-peak radial structure with high flux intensity at L < ∼2.5, which however can be bifurcated to exhibit a double-peak radial structure. By automatically identifying the events of bifurcation based on RBSPICE data, we find that the bifurcation is mostly observed at ∼30–100 keV with a local flux minimum at L=∼2.0–∼2.3 under relatively quiet geomagnetic conditions, typically after a significant flux enhancement due to radial diffusion or injections to L<∼2.5. The bifurcation typically lasts for a few days during quiet periods until interrupted by injections or radial diffusion. The L-shell, energy and seasonal dependences of the occurrence of bifurcated inner electron belt support the important role of electron scattering by very-low-frequency transmitter waves in the bifurcation formation.

Hua, Man; Ni, Binbin; Li, Wen; Ma, Qianli; Gu, Xudong; Fu, Song; Cao, Xing; Guo, YingJie; Liu, Yangxizi;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 12/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

Inner electron radiation belt; Flux bifurcation; VLF transmitter waves; Statistical distribution; Van Allen Probes

On the loss mechanisms of radiation belt electron dropouts during the 12 September 2014 geomagnetic storm

Radiation belt electron dropouts indicate electron flux decay to the background level during geomagnetic storms, which is commonly attributed to the effects of wave-induced pitch angle scattering and magnetopause shadowing. To investigate the loss mechanisms of radiation belt electron dropouts triggered by a solar wind dynamic pressure pulse event on 12 September 2014, we comprehensively analyzed the particle and wave measurements from Van Allen Probes. The dropout event was divided into three periods: before the storm, the initial phase of the storm, and the main phase of the storm. The electron pitch angle distributions (PADs) and electron flux dropouts during the initial and main phases of this storm were investigated, and the evolution of the radial profile of electron phase space density (PSD) and the (μ, K) dependence of electron PSD dropouts (where μ, K, and L* are the three adiabatic invariants) were analyzed. The energy-independent decay of electrons at L > 4.5 was accompanied by butterfly PADs, suggesting that the magnetopause shadowing process may be the major loss mechanism during the initial phase of the storm at L > 4.5. The features of electron dropouts and 90°-peaked PADs were observed only for >1 MeV electrons at L < 4, indicating that the wave-induced scattering effect may dominate the electron loss processes at the lower L-shell during the main phase of the storm. Evaluations of the (μ, K) dependence of electron PSD drops and calculations of the minimum electron resonant energies of H+-band electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves support the scenario that the observed PSD drop peaks around L* = 3.9 may be caused mainly by the scattering of EMIC waves, whereas the drop peaks around L* = 4.6 may result from a combination of EMIC wave scattering and outward radial diffusion.

Ma, Xin; Xiang, Zheng; Ni, Binbin; Fu, Song; Cao, Xing; Hua, Man; Guo, DeYu; Guo, YingJie; Gu, Xudong; Liu, ZeYuan; Zhu, Qi;

Published by: Earth and Planetary Physics      Published on: 11/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

radiation belt electron flux dropouts; Geomagnetic storm; electron phase space density; magnetopause shadowing; wave–particle interactions; Van Allen Probes

Precipitation Loss of Radiation Belt Electrons by Two-Band Plasmaspheric Hiss Waves

A two-band plasmaspheric hiss consisting of a low-frequency band (normal hiss with the frequency below 2 kHz) and a high-frequency band (locally generated hiss with the frequency up to 10 kHz) was observed on 6 January 2014 by the Van Allen Probes (He et al., 2019, The electron scattering effect driven by this kind of two-band plasmaspheric hiss is evaluated by the quasi-linear diffusion simulation for the first time. Realistic wave characteristic parameters of the two-band plasmaspheric hiss from statistics are adopted for driving our simulation. The pitch angle diffusion rates of the low-frequency band hiss present a “gap” with minimum magnitude at pitch angle αe ∼ 70°, a condition not favoring the transport of large pitch angle electrons toward the loss cone. However, the diffusion rates of the high-frequency band hiss have peak values at αe ∼ 70°, filling up for the “gap” of the low-frequency hiss diffusion rates. The realistic wave-driven electron PSD evolutions demonstrate that the collaborated effect of the low-frequency band and high-frequency band hiss can cause significant precipitation losses of energetic electrons of tens to several hundred keV within 2 days.

He, Zhaoguo; Yan, Qi; Zhang, Xiaoping; Yu, Jiang; Ma, Yonghui; Cao, Yong; Cui, Jun;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 10/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

two-band hiss; radiation belt electron; loss; Van Allen Probes

Electron Diffusion by Coexisting Plasmaspheric Hiss and Chorus Waves: Multisatellite Observations and Simulations

We report a rare event of intense plasmaspheric hiss and chorus waves simultaneously observed at the same L shell but different magnetic local times by Van Allen Probes and Magnetospheric Multiscale. Based on the measured waves and electron distributions, we calculate the bounce-averaged diffusion coefficients and subsequently simulate the temporal evolution of electron distributions. The simulations show that the dynamics of tens to hundreds of keV electrons are jointly controlled by hiss and chorus. The dynamics of MeV electrons are dominantly controlled by hiss near the loss cone but by chorus at intermediate to large pitch angles. The simulated electron distributions driven by combined diffusion can reproduce the majority of the observations. Our results provide a direct observational evidence that hiss and chorus can simultaneously occur at the same electron drifting shells due to the irregular plasmasphere and highlight the importance of their combined effect on electron dynamics.

Yu, J.; Wang, J.; Li, L; Cui, J.; Cao, J.; He, Z.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 07/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

electron diffusion; Plasmaspheric Hiss; chorus waves; Van Allen Probes; MMS


Effects of Solar Wind Plasma Flow and Interplanetary Magnetic Field on the Spatial Structure of Earth\textquoterights Radiation Belts

Based on the statistical data measured by Van Allen Probes from 2012 to 2016, we analyzed the effects of solar wind plasma flow and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) on the spatial distribution of Earth\textquoterights radiation belt electrons (>100 keV). The statistical results indicate that the increases in solar wind plasma density and flow speed can exert different effects on the spatial structure of the radiation belts. The high solar wind plasma density (>6 cm-3)/flow pressure (>2.5 nPa) and a large southward IMF (Bz < -6 nT) usually appear in the front of high-speed solar wind streams (> 450 km/s), and they tend to narrow the outer radiation belt but broaden the slot region. In contrast, the increase in solar wind flow speed can broaden the outer radiation belt but narrows the slot region. When the solar wind speed exceeds 500 km/s, the outer radiation belt electrons can penetrate into the slot region (L < 3) and even enter the inner radiation belt (L < 2). The lower-energy electrons penetrate into the deeper (smaller-L) region than the higher-energy electrons.

Li, L.Y.; Yang, S.S.; Cao, J.B.; Yu, J.; Luo, X.Y.; Blake, J.B.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 12/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027284

Changes in The Spatial Structure of Earth\textquoterights Radiation Belts; Increase in Solar Wind Plasma Density; Increase in Solar Wind Plasma Flow Speed; Northward Interplanetary Magnetic Field; Southward interplanetary magnetic field; Van Allen Probes

Wave Normal Angle Distribution of Fast Magnetosonic Waves: A Survey of Van Allen Probes EMFISIS Observations

Using Van Allen Probe Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) wave observations from September 2012 to May 2018, we statistically investigate the distributions of power-weighted wave normal angle (WNA) of fast magnetosonic (MS) waves from L = 2\textendash6 within \textpm15\textdegree geomagnetic latitudes. The spatial distributions show that the MS WNAs are mainly confined within 87\textendash89\textdegree near the geomagnetic equator and decrease with increasing magnetic latitude. Further quantitative investigation demonstrates that the WNAs normally distribute as a mixture of two Gaussian distributions ranging from 85\textdegree to 88\textdegree, and the tangent of it can decrease as a Kappa distribution function when the waves propagate to higher latitudes. Our study completes the survey of spatial distributions of MS WNAs and provides quantitative dependence of the WNA distribution on the magnetic latitude in the inner magnetosphere, which can be readily useful in future global simulations of radiation belt particle dynamics.

Zou, Zhengyang; Zuo, Pingbing; Ni, Binbin; Wei, Fengsi; Zhao, Zhengyu; Cao, Xing; Fu, Song; Gu, Xudong;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 07/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026556

Empirical Model; Fast Magnetosonic Waves; latitudinal dependence; power-weighted wave normal angles; spatial distributions; Van Allen Probes

Effect of Low-Harmonic Magnetosonic Waves on the Radiation Belt Electrons Inside the Plasmasphere

In this paper, we presented two observational cases and simulations to indicate the relationship between the formation of butterfly-like electron pitch angle distributions and the emission of low-harmonic (LH) fast magnetosonic (MS) waves inside the high-density plasmasphere. In the wave emission region, the pitch angle of relativistic (>1 MeV) electrons becomes obvious butterfly-like distributions for both events (near-equatorially mirroring electrons are transported to lower pitch angles). Unlike relativistic (>1 MeV) electrons, energetic electrons (<1 MeV) change slightly, except that relatively low-energy electrons (<~150 keV) show butterfly-like distributions in the 21 August 2013 event. In theory, the LH MS waves can affect different-energy electrons through the bounce resonance, Landau resonance, and transit time scattering. By performing the Fokker-Planck diffusion simulations, we demonstrate that the bounce resonance with the LH MS waves mainly leads to the butterfly pitch angle distribution of MeV electrons, whereas the Landau resonance and transit time scattering mainly affect energetic electrons in the high-density region.

Yu, J.; Li, L; Cui, J.; Cao, J.; Wang, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026328

bounce resonance; Electron acceleration; Landau resonance; magnetosonic waves; transit-time scattering; Van Allen Probes

Statistical Properties of Hiss in Plasmaspheric Plumes and Associated Scattering Losses of Radiation Belt Electrons

Whistler mode hiss acts as an important loss mechanism contributing to the radiation belt electron dynamics inside the plasmasphere and plasmaspheric plumes. Based on Van Allen Probes observations from September 2012 to December 2015, we conduct a detailed analysis of hiss properties in plasmaspheric plumes and illustrate that corresponding to the highest occurrence probability of plumes at L = 5.0\textendash6.0 and MLT = 18\textendash21, hiss emissions occur concurrently with a rate of >~80\%. Plume hiss can efficiently scatter ~10- to 100-keV electrons at rates up to ~10-4 s-1 near the loss cone, and the resultant electron loss timescales vary largely with energy, that is, from less than an hour for tens of kiloelectron volt electrons to several days for hundreds of kiloelectron volt electrons and to >100 days for >5-MeV electrons. These newly obtained statistical properties of plume hiss and associated electron scattering effects are useful to future modeling efforts of radiation belt electron dynamics.

Zhang, Wenxun; Ni, Binbin; Huang, He; Summers, Danny; Fu, Song; Xiang, Zheng; Gu, Xudong; Cao, Xing; Lou, Yuequn; Hua, Man;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 05/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL081863

Electron scattering; plasmaspheric plumes; plume hiss; Van Allen Probes

Local Generation of High-Frequency Plasmaspheric Hiss Observed by Van Allen Probes

The generation of a high-frequency plasmaspheric hiss (HFPH) wave observed by Van Allen Probes is studied in this letter for the first time. The wave has a moderate power spectral density (\~10-6 nT2/Hz), with a frequency range extended from 2 to 10 kHz. The correlated observations of waves and particles indicate that HFPH is associated with the enhancement of electron flux during the substorm on 6 January 2014. Calculations of the wave linear growth rate driven by the fitted electron phase space density show that the electron distribution after the substorm onset is efficient for the HFPH generation. The energy of the contributing electrons is about 1\textendash2 keV, which is consistent with the observation. These results support that the observed HFPH is likely to be generated locally inside the plasmasphere due to the instability of injected kiloelectron volt electrons.

He, Zhaoguo; Chen, Lunjin; Liu, Xu; Zhu, Hui; Liu, Si; Gao, Zhonglei; Cao, Yong;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 01/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL081578

electron; high frequency; local generation; Plasmaspheric Hiss; substorm injection; Van Allen Probes

Sensitivity of EMIC Wave-Driven Scattering Loss of Ring Current Protons to Wave Normal Angle Distribution

Electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves have long been recognized to play a crucial role in the dynamic loss of ring current protons. While the field-aligned propagation approximation of electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves was widely used to quantify the scattering loss of ring current protons, in this study, we find that the wave normal distribution strongly affects the pitch angle scattering efficiency of protons. Increase of peak normal angle or angular width can considerably reduce the scattering rates of <=10 keV protons. For >10 keV protons, the field-aligned propagation approximation results in a pronounced underestimate of the scattering of intermediate equatorial pitch angle protons and overestimates the scattering of high equatorial pitch angle protons by orders of magnitude. Our results suggest that the wave normal distribution of electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves plays an important role in the pitch angle evolution and scattering loss of ring current protons and should be incorporated in future global modeling of ring current dynamics.

Cao, Xing; Ni, Binbin; Summers, Danny; Shprits, Yuri; Gu, Xudong; Fu, Song; Lou, Yuequn; Zhang, Yang; Ma, Xin; Zhang, Wenxun; Huang, He; Yi, Juan;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 01/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL081550

EMIC waves; Quasi-linear diffusion; Ring current protons; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions


Combined Scattering of Outer Radiation Belt Electrons by Simultaneously Occurring Chorus, Exohiss, and Magnetosonic Waves

We report a typical event that fast magnetosonic (MS) waves, exohiss, and two-band chorus waves occurred simultaneously on the dayside observed by Van Allen Probes on 25 December 2013. By combining calculations of electron diffusion coefficients and 2-D Fokker-Planck diffusion simulations, we quantitatively analyze the combined scattering effect of multiple waves to demonstrate that the net impact of combined scattering does not simply depend on the wave intensity dominance of various plasma waves. Although the observed MS waves are most intense, the electron butterfly distribution is inhibited by exohiss and chorus, and electrons are considerably accelerated by combined scattering of MS and chorus waves. The simulated electron pitch angle distributions exhibit the variation trend consistent with the observations. Our results strongly suggest that competition and cooperation between resonant interactions with concurrently occurring magnetospheric waves need to be carefully treated in modeling and comprehending the radiation belt electron dynamics.

Hua, Man; Ni, Binbin; Fu, Song; Gu, Xudong; Xiang, Zheng; Cao, Xing; Zhang, Wenxun; He, Ying; Huang, He; Lou, Yuequn; Zhang, Yang;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 09/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL079533

Combined scattering effect; diffusion simulations; Exohiss; magnetosonic waves; resonant wave-particle interactions; two-band chorus waves; Van Allen Probes

A Statistical Survey of Radiation Belt Dropouts Observed by Van Allen Probes

A statistical analysis on the radiation belt dropouts is performed based on 4 years of electron phase space density data from the Van Allen Probes. The μ, K, and L* dependence of dropouts and their driving mechanisms and geomagnetic and solar wind conditions are investigated using electron phase space density data sets for the first time. Our results suggest that electronmagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) wave scattering is the dominant dropout mechanism at low L* region, which requires the most active geomagnetic and solar wind conditions. In contrast, dropouts at high L* have a higher occurrence and are due to a combination of EMIC wave scattering and outward radial diffusion associated with magnetopause shadowing. In addition, outward radial diffusion at high L* is found to cause larger dropouts than EMIC wave scattering and is accompanied with active geomagnetic and solar wind drivers.

Xiang, Zheng; Tu, Weichao; Ni, Binbin; Henderson, M.; Cao, Xing;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078907

EMIC wave; magnetopause shadowing; Phase space density; radial diffusion; radiation belt dropout; Van Allen Probes; wave particle interaction

Electron Scattering by Plasmaspheric Hiss in a Nightside Plume

Plasmaspheric hiss is known to play an important role in radiation belt electron dynamics in high plasma density regions. We present observations of two crossings of a plasmaspheric plume by the Van Allen Probes on 26 December 2012, which occurred unusually at the post-midnight-to-dawn sector between L ~ 4\textendash6 during a geomagnetically quiet period. This plume exhibited pronounced electron densities higher than those of the average plume level. Moderate hiss emissions accompanied the two plume crossings with the peak power at about 100 Hz. Quantification of quasi-linear bounce-averaged electron scattering rates by hiss in the plume demonstrates that the waves are efficient to pitch angle scatter ~10\textendash100 keV electrons at rates up to ~10-4 s-1 near the loss cone but become gradually insignificant to scatter the higher energy electron population. The resultant timescales of electron loss due to hiss in the nightside plume vary largely with electron kinetic energy over 3 orders of magnitude, that is, from several hours for tens of keV electrons to a few days for hundreds of keV electrons to well above 100 days for >1 MeV electrons. Changing slightly with L-shell and the multiquartile profile of hiss spectral intensity, these electron loss timescales suggest that hiss emissions in the nightside plume act as a viable candidate for the fast loss of the ≲100 keV electrons and the slow decay of higher energy electrons.

Zhang, Wenxun; Fu, Song; Gu, Xudong; Ni, Binbin; Xiang, Zheng; Summers, Danny; Zou, Zhengyang; Cao, Xing; Lou, Yuequn; Hua, Man;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 05/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL077212

Electron scattering; nightside plumes; Plasmaspheric Hiss; Van Allen Probes

Resonant Scattering of Radiation Belt Electrons by Off-Equatorial Magnetosonic Waves

Fast magnetosonic (MS) waves are commonly regarded as electromagnetic waves that are characteristically confined within \textpm3\textdegree of the geomagnetic equator. We report two typical off-equatorial MS events observed by Van Allen Probes, that is, the 8 May 2014 event that occurred at the geomagnetic latitudes of 7.5\textdegree\textendash9.2\textdegree both inside and outside the plasmasphere with the wave amplitude up to 590 pT and the 9 January 2014 event that occurred at the latitudes of\textemdash(15.7\textdegree\textendash17.5\textdegree) outside the plasmasphere with a smaller amplitude about 81 pT. Detailed test particle simulations quantify the electron resonant scattering rates by the off-equatorial MS waves to find that they can cause the pitch angle scattering and momentum diffusion of radiation belt electrons with equatorial pitch angles < ~75\textdegree or < ~58\textdegree (depending on the wave latitudinal coverage) on timescales of a day. Subsequent two-dimensional Fokker-Planck diffusion simulations indicate that the strong off-equatorial MS waves are capable of efficiently transporting high pitch angle electrons to lower pitch angles to facilitate the formation of radiation belt electron butterfly distributions for a broad energy range from ~100 keV to >1 MeV within an hour. Our study clearly demonstrates that the presence of off-equatorial MS waves, in addition to equatorial MS waves, can contribute importantly to the dynamical variations of radiation belt electron fluxes and their pitch angle distribution.

Ni, Binbin; Zou, Zhengyang; Fu, Song; Cao, Xing; Gu, Xudong; Xiang, Zheng;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 02/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1002/grl.v45.310.1002/2017GL075788

butterfly pitch angle distributions; off-equatorial MS waves; radiation belt electrons; Van Allen Probes

The Effect of Hot Protons on Magnetosonic Waves Inside and Outside the Plasmapause: New Observations and Theoretic Results

Based on the wave and proton observations by Van Allen Probes A and B, we examined the effects of hot protons (0.01\textendash50 keV) on fast magnetosonic (MS) waves inside and outside the Earth\textquoterights plasmasphere. In the low-density plasma trough outside the plasmapause, the gyroresonance interactions between hot protons and MS waves not only cause the MS wave growth at some frequencies but also lead to the damping of MS waves at other frequencies, which depends on the proton phase space density gradient and the ambient plasma density. The gyroresonance of the observed hot protons cannot excite MS waves near the lower hybrid resonance frequency and even causes the MS wave damping. Thus, the frequencies of the observed MS waves outside the plasmapause are usually lower than the lower hybrid resonance frequency. In the high-density plasmasphere, the observed hot protons merely lead to the weak gyrodamping of MS waves. The persistent existence of lower band MS waves indicates that the weak gyrodamping effect of hot protons on MS waves is ignorable in the high-density plasmasphere.

Liu, Bin; Li, Liuyuan; Yu, Jiang; Cao, Jinbin;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 01/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024676

damping of magnetosonic waves; growth of magnetosonic waves; magnetosonic waves; magnetospheric hot protons; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions


Multiple-satellite observation of magnetic dip event during the substorm on 10 October, 2013

We present a multiple-satellite observation of the magnetic dip event during the substorm on October 10, 2013. The observation illustrates the temporal and spatial evolution of the magnetic dip and gives a compelling evidence that ring current ions induce the magnetic dip by enhanced plasma beta. The dip moves with the energetic ions in a comparable drift velocity and affects the dynamics of relativistic electrons in the radiation belt. In addition, the magnetic dip provides a favorable condition for the EMIC wave generation based on the linear theory analysis. The calculated proton diffusion coefficients show that the observed EMIC wave can lead to the pitch angle scattering losses of the ring current ions, which in turn partially relax the magnetic dip in the observations. This study enriches our understanding of magnetic dip evolution and demonstrates the important role of the magnetic dip for the coupling of radiation belt and ring current.

He, Zhaoguo; Chen, Lunjin; Zhu, Hui; Xia, Zhiyang; Reeves, G.; Xiong, Ying; Xie, Lun; Cao, Yong;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 09/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074869

EMIC wave; magnetic dip; radiation belt electrons; Ring current ions; Van Allen Probes

Bounce resonance scattering of radiation belt electrons by low-frequency hiss: Comparison with cyclotron and Landau resonances

Bounce-resonant interactions with magnetospheric waves have been proposed as important contributing mechanisms for scattering near-equatorially mirroring electrons by violating the second adiabatic invariant associated with the electron bounce motion along a geomagnetic field line. This study demonstrates that low-frequency plasmaspheric hiss with significant wave power below 100 Hz can bounce-resonate efficiently with radiation belt electrons. By performing quantitative calculations of pitch-angle scattering rates, we show that low-frequency hiss induced bounce-resonant scattering of electrons has a strong dependence on equatorial pitch-angle αeq. For electrons with αeq close to 90\textdegree, the timescale associated with bounce resonance scattering can be comparable to or even less than 1 hour. Cyclotron- and Landau-resonant interactions between low-frequency hiss and electrons are also investigated for comparisons. It is found that while the bounce and Landau resonances are responsible for the diffusive transport of near-equatorially mirroring electrons to lower αeq, pitch-angle scattering by cyclotron resonance could take over to further diffuse electrons into the atmosphere. Bounce resonance provides a more efficient pitch-angle scattering mechanism of relativistic (>= 1 MeV) electrons than Landau resonance due to the stronger scattering rates and broader resonance coverage of αeq, thereby demonstrating that bounce resonance scattering by low-frequency hiss can contribute importantly to the evolution of the electron pitch-angle distribution and the loss of radiation belt electrons.

Cao, Xing; Ni, Binbin; Summers, Danny; Zou, Zhengyang; Fu, Song; Zhang, Wenxun;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 09/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075104

bounce resonance; Low-frequency hiss; Radiation Belt Dynamics; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions

Propagation characteristics of plasmaspheric hiss: Van Allen Probe observations and global empirical models

Based on the Van Allen Probe A observations from 1 October 2012 to 31 December 2014, we develop two empirical models to respectively describe the hiss wave normal angle (WNA) and amplitude variations in the Earth\textquoterights plasmasphere for different substorm activities. The long-term observations indicate that the plasmaspheric hiss amplitudes on the dayside increase when substorm activity is enhanced (AE index increases), and the dayside hiss amplitudes are greater than the nightside. However, the propagation angles (WNAs) of hiss waves in most regions do not depend strongly on substorm activity, except for the intense substorm-induced increase in WNAs in the nightside low L-region. The propagation angles of plasmaspheric hiss increase with increasing magnetic latitude or decreasing radial distance (L-value). The global hiss WNAs (the power-weighted averages in each grid) and amplitudes (medians) can be well reproduced by our empirical models.

Yu, J.; Li, L; Cao, J.; Chen, L.; Wang, J.; Yang, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023372

hiss amplitude model; hiss wave amplitude; Plasmaspheric Hiss; propagation angle model of hiss waves; substorm dependence; Van Allen Probes; wave normal angle

Roles of whistler-mode waves and magnetosonic waves in changing the outer radiation belt and the slot region

Using the Van Allen Probe long-term (2013 \textendash 2015) observations and quasi-linear simulations of wave-particle interactions, we examine the combined or competing effects of whistler-mode waves (chorus or hiss) and magnetosonic (MS) waves on energetic (<0.5 MeV) and relativistic (>0.5 MeV) electrons inside and outside the plasmasphere. Although whistler-mode chorus waves and MS waves can singly or jointly accelerate electrons from the hundreds of keV energy to the MeV energy in the low-density trough, most of the relativistic electron enhancement events are best correlated with the chorus wave emissions outside the plasmapause. Inside the plasmasphere, intense plasmaspheric hiss can cause the net loss of relativistic electrons via persistent pitch angle scattering, regardless of whether MS waves were present or not. The intense hiss waves not only create the energy-dependent electron slot region, but also remove a lot of the outer radiation belt electrons when the expanding dayside plasmasphere frequently covers the outer zone. Since whistler-mode waves (chorus or hiss) can resonate with more electrons than MS waves, they play dominant roles in changing the outer radiation belt and the slot region. However, MS waves can accelerate the energetic electrons below 400 keV and weaken their loss inside the plasmapause. Thus, MS waves and plasmaspheric hiss generate different competing effects on energetic and relativistic electrons in the high-density plasmasphere.

Li, L; Yu, J.; Cao, J.; Yang, J; Li, X.; Baker, D.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023634

magnetosonic waves; Plasmapause movement; Spatial variation of outer radiaton belt; Spatial variation of slot region; Temporal-spatial variations of chorus waves; Temporal-spatial variations of plasmaspheric hiss; Van Allen Probes

Inferring electromagnetic ion cyclotron wave intensity from low altitude POES proton flux measurements: A detailed case study with conjugate Van Allen Probes observations

Zhang, Yang; Shi, Run; Ni, Binbin; Gu, Xudong; Zhang, Xianguo; Zuo, Pingbing; Fu, Song; Xiang, Zheng; Wang, Qi; Cao, Xing; Zou, Zhengyang;

Published by: Advances in Space Research      Published on: 03/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2016.12.035

Van Allen Probes


A new method to study the time correlation between Van Allen Belt electrons and earthquakes

A new method to study a possible temporal correlation between hundreds of keV Van Allen Belt electrons and strong earthquakes is proposed. It consists in measuring the electrons pitch angle distribution (PAD), searching for PAD disturbances, and studying the time correlation between these PAD disturbances and strong earthquakes, occurring within a defined time window. The method was applied to measurements of energetic electrons, which were performed with the Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma (ECT)-MagEIS detector on board the Van Allen Probes (VAPs) mission and strong continental earthquakes, with magnitude M 5.0 and hypocenter depth 100 km. We report the correlation studies for electrons with energies of about 350 keV, with which a 3.84 standard deviations correlation peak was found at hour time bin, and about 450 keV with which no correlation peaks above 2.0 standard deviations were found. Our work proves the feasibility of the proposed method and the obtained results add useful and additional information with respect to past studies.

Tao, Dan; Battiston, Roberto; Vitale, Vincenzo; Burger, William; Lazzizzera, Ignazio; Cao, Jinbin; Shen, Xuhui;

Published by: International Journal of Remote Sensing      Published on: 10/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2016.1239284

Van Allen Probes

Wave-driven gradual loss of energetic electrons in the slot region

Resonant pitch angle scattering by plasmaspheric hiss has long been considered to be responsible for the energetic electron loss in the slot region, but the detailed quantitative comparison between theory and observations is still lacking. Here we focus on the loss of 100\textendash600 keV electrons at L = 3 during the recovery phase of a geomagnetic storm on 28 June 2013. Van Allen Probes data showed the concurrence of intense (with power up to 10-4 nT2/Hz) plasmaspheric hiss waves and significant (up to 1 order) loss of energetic electrons within 2 days. Our quasi-linear diffusion simulations show that hiss scattering can basically reproduce the temporal evolution of the angular distribution of the observed electron flux decay. This quantitative analysis provides further support for the mechanism of hiss-driven electron loss in the slot region.

He, Zhaoguo; Yan, Qi; Chu, Yuchuan; Cao, Yong;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023087

electron loss; energetic electron; Plasmaspheric Hiss; Slot region; Van Allen Probes; Wave-particle interaction

The influences of solar wind pressure and interplanetary magnetic field on global magnetic field and outer radiation belt electrons

Using the Van Allen Probe in-situ measured magnetic field and electron data, we examine the solar wind dynamic pressure and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) effects on global magnetic field and outer radiation belt relativistic electrons (>=1.8 MeV). The dynamic pressure enhancements (>2nPa) cause the dayside magnetic field increase and the nightside magnetic field reduction, whereas the large southward IMFs (Bz-IMF < -2nT) mainly lead to the decrease of the nightside magnetic field. In the dayside increased magnetic field region (MLT ~ 06:00 - 18:00, and L > 4), the pitch angles of relativistic electrons are mainly pancake distributions with a flux peak around 90o (corresponding anisotropic index A > 0.1), and the higher-energy electrons have stronger pancake distributions (the larger A), suggesting that the compression-induced betatron accelerations enhance the dayside pancake distributions. However in the nighttime decreased magnetic field region (MLT ~ 18:00 - 06:00, and L >= 5), the pitch angles of relativistic electrons become butterfly distributions with two flux peaks around 45o and 135o (A < 0). The spatial range of the nighttime butterfly distributions is almost independent of the relativistic electron energy, but it depends on the magnetic field day-night asymmetry and the interplanetary conditions. The dynamic pressure enhancements can make the nighttime butterfly distribution extend inward. The large southward IMFs can also lead to the azimuthal expansion of the nighttime butterfly distributions. These variations are consistent with the drift shell splitting and/or magnetopause shadowing effect.

Yu, J.; Li, L.Y.; Cao, J.; Reeves, G.; Baker, D.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 06/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069029

butterfly distributions; Day-night asymmetrical variations of magnetic field; Day-night asymmetrical variations of relativistic electron pitch angle distributions; Pancake distributions; solar wind dynamic pressure; Southward interplanetary magnetic field; Van Allen Probes

Combined Scattering Loss of Radiation Belt Relativistic Electrons by Simultaneous Three-band EMIC Waves: A Case Study

Multiband electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves can drive efficient scattering loss of radiation belt relativistic electrons. However, it is statistically uncommon to capture the three bands of EMIC waves concurrently. Utilizing data from the Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science magnetometer onboard Van Allen Probe A, we report the simultaneous presence of three (H+, He+, and O+) emission bands in an EMIC wave event, which provides an opportunity to look into the combined scattering effect of all EMIC emissions and the relative roles of each band in diffusing radiation belt relativistic electrons under realistic circumstances. Our quantitative results, obtained by quasi-linear diffusion rate computations and 1-D pure pitch angle diffusion simulations, demonstrate that the combined resonant scattering by the simultaneous three-band EMIC waves is overall dominated by He+ band wave diffusion, mainly due to its dominance over the wave power (the mean wave amplitudes are approximately 0.4 nT, 1.6 nT, and 0.15 nT for H+, He+, and O+ bands, respectively). Near the loss cone, while 2\textendash3 MeV electrons undergo pitch angle scattering at a rate of the order of 10-6\textendash10-5 s-1, 5\textendash10 MeV electrons can be diffused more efficiently at a rate of the order of 10-3\textendash10-2 s-1, which approaches the strong diffusion level and results in a moderately or heavily filled loss cone for the atmospheric loss. The corresponding electron loss timescales (i.e., lifetimes) vary from several days at the energies of ~2 MeV to less than 1 h at ~10 MeV. This case study indicates the leading contribution of He+ band waves to radiation belt relativistic electron losses during the coexistence of three EMIC wave bands and suggests that the roles of different EMIC wave bands in the relativistic electron dynamics should be carefully incorporated in future modeling efforts.

He, Fengming; Cao, Xing; Ni, Binbin; Xiang, Zheng; Zhou, Chen; Gu, Xudong; Zhao, Zhengyu; Shi, Run; Wang, Qi;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022483

combined scattering rates; electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves; loss timescales; radiation belt relativistic electrons; resonant wave-particle interactions; Van Allen Probes


Observations of discrete magnetosonic waves off the magnetic equator

Fast mode magnetosonic waves are typically confined close to the magnetic equator and exhibit harmonic structures at multiples of the local, equatorial proton cyclotron frequency. We report observations of magnetosonic waves well off the equator at geomagnetic latitudes from -16.5\textdegreeto -17.9\textdegree and L shell ~2.7\textendash4.6. The observed waves exhibit discrete spectral structures with multiple frequency spacings. The predominant frequency spacings are ~6 and 9 Hz, neither of which is equal to the local proton cyclotron frequency. Backward ray tracing simulations show that the feature of multiple frequency spacings is caused by propagation from two spatially narrow equatorial source regions located at L ≈ 4.2 and 3.7. The equatorial proton cyclotron frequencies at those two locations match the two observed frequency spacings. Our analysis provides the first observations of the harmonic nature of magnetosonic waves well away from the equatorial region and suggests that the propagation from multiple equatorial sources contributes to these off-equatorial magnetosonic emissions with varying frequency spacings.

Zhima, Zeren; Chen, Lunjin; Fu, Huishan; Cao, Jinbin; Horne, Richard; Reeves, Geoff;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 12/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066255

discrete structure; magnetsonic wave; off-equatorial region

Multiple loss processes of relativistic electrons outside the heart of outer radiation belt during a storm sudden commencement

By examining the compression-induced changes in the electron phase space density and pitch angle distribution observed by two satellites of Van Allen Probes (RBSP-A/B), we find that the relativistic electrons (>2MeV) outside the heart of outer radiation belt (L*>= 5) undergo multiple losses during a storm sudden commencement (SSC). The relativistic electron loss mainly occurs in the field-aligned direction (pitch angle α< 30\textdegree or >150\textdegree), and the flux decay of the field-aligned electrons is independent of the spatial location variations of the two satellites. However, the relativistic electrons in the pitch angle range of 30\textdegree-150\textdegree increase (decrease) with the decreasing (increasing) geocentric distance (|ΔL|< 0.25) of the RBSP-B (RBSP-A) location, and the electron fluxes in the quasi-perpendicular direction display energy-dispersive oscillations in the Pc5 period range (2 - 10min). The relativistic electron loss is confirmed by the decrease of electron phase space density at high-L shell after the magnetospheric compressions, and their loss is associated with the intense plasmaspheric hiss, electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves, relativistic electron precipitation (observed by POES/NOAA satellites at 850km) and magnetic field fluctuations in the Pc5 band. The intense EMIC waves and whistler-mode hiss jointly cause the rapidly pitch angle scattering loss of the relativistic electrons within 10 hours. Moreover, the Pc5 ULF waves also lead to the slowly outward radial diffusion of the relativistic electrons in the high-L region with a negative electron phase space density gradient.

Yu, J.; Li, L.Y.; Cao, J.; Yuan, Z.; Reeves, G.; Baker, D.; Blake, J.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 11/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021460

Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves; outer radiation belt; Outward radial diffusion driven by ULF waves; Plasmaspheric Hiss; relativistic electron loss; Storm sudden commencement; Van Allen Probes

Resonant scattering of outer zone relativistic electrons by multiband EMIC waves and resultant electron loss time scales

To improve our understanding of the role of electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves in radiation belt electron dynamics, we perform a comprehensive analysis of EMIC wave-induced resonant scattering of outer zone relativistic (>0.5 MeV) electrons and resultant electron loss time scales with respect to EMIC wave band, L shell, and wave normal angle model. The results demonstrate that while H+-band EMIC waves dominate the scattering losses of ~1\textendash4 MeV outer zone relativistic electrons, it is He+-band and O+-band waves that prevail over the pitch angle diffusion of ultrarelativistic electrons at higher energies. Given the wave amplitude, EMIC waves at higher L shells tend to resonantly interact with a larger population of outer zone relativistic electrons and drive their pitch angle scattering more efficiently. Obliquity of EMIC waves can reduce the efficiency of wave-induced relativistic electron pitch angle scattering. Compared to the frequently adopted parallel or quasi-parallel model, use of the latitudinally varying wave normal angle model produces the largest decrease in H+-band EMIC wave scattering rates at pitch angles < ~40\textdegree for electrons > ~5 MeV. At a representative nominal amplitude of 1 nT, EMIC wave scattering produces the equilibrium state (i.e., the lowest normal mode under which electrons at the same energy but different pitch angles decay exponentially on the same time scale) of outer belt relativistic electrons within several to tens of minutes and the following exponential decay extending to higher pitch angles on time scales from <1 min to ~1 h. The electron loss cone can be either empty as a result of the weak diffusion or heavily/fully filled due to approaching the strong diffusion limit, while the trapped electron population at high pitch angles close to 90\textdegree remains intact because of no resonant scattering. In this manner, EMIC wave scattering has the potential to deepen the anisotropic distribution of outer zone relativistic electrons by reshaping their pitch angle profiles to \textquotedbllefttop-hat.\textquotedblright Overall, H+-band and He+-band EMIC waves are most efficient in producing the pitch angle scattering loss of relativistic electrons at ~1\textendash2 MeV. In contrast, the presence of O+-band EMIC waves, while at a smaller occurrence rate, can dominate the scattering loss of 5\textendash10 MeV electrons in the entire region of the outer zone, which should be considered in future modeling of the outer zone relativistic electron dynamics.

Ni, Binbin; Cao, Xing; Zou, Zhengyang; Zhou, Chen; Gu, Xudong; Bortnik, Jacob; Zhang, Jichun; Fu, Song; Zhao, Zhengyu; Shi, Run; Xie, Lun;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021466

electron loss time scales; EMIC waves; outer radiation belt; relativistic electrons; resonant wave-particle interactions


First observation of rising-tone magnetosonic waves

Magnetosonic (MS) waves are linearly polarized emissions confined near the magnetic equator with wave normal angle near 90\textdegree and frequency below the lower hybrid frequency. Such waves, also termed equatorial noise, were traditionally known to be \textquotedbllefttemporally continuous\textquotedblright in their time-frequency spectrogram. Here we show for the first time that MS waves actually have discrete wave elements with rising-tone features in their spectrogram. The frequency sweep rate of MS waves, ~1 Hz/s, is between that of chorus and electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves. For the two events we analyzed, MS waves occur outside the plasmapause and cannot penetrate into the plasmasphere; their power is smaller than that of chorus. We suggest that the rising-tone feature of MS waves is a consequence of nonlinear wave-particle interaction, as is the case with chorus and EMIC waves.

Fu, H.; Cao, J.; Zhima, Z.; Khotyaintsev, Y.; Angelopoulos, V.; ik, O.; Omura, Y.; Taubenschuss, U.; Chen, L.; Huang, S;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 11/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/grl.v41.2110.1002/2014GL061867

discrete; frequency sweep rate; magnetosonic wave; nonlinear wave-particle interaction; Plasmapause; rising tone