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Found 16 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 16


The Roles of the Magnetopause and Plasmapause in Storm-Time ULF Wave Power Enhancements

Abstract Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) waves play a crucial role in transporting and coupling energy within the magnetosphere. During geomagnetic storms, dayside magnetospheric ULF wave power is highly variable with strong enhancements that are dominated by elevated solar wind driving. However, the radial distribution of ULF wave power is complex - controlled interdependently by external solar wind driving and the internal magnetospheric structuring. We conducted a statistical analysis of observed storm-time ULF wave power from the Van Allen Probes spacecraft within 2012 - 2016. Focusing on the dayside (06 < Magnetic Local Time ≤ 15), we observe large enhancements across 3 < L < 6 and a steep L dependence during the main phase. We consider how accounting for concurrent magnetopause and plasmapause locations may reduce statistical variability and improve parameterisation of spatial trends over and above using the L value. Ordering storm time ULF wave power by L provides the weakest dependences from those considered, whereas ordering by distance from the magnetopause is more effective. We also explore dependences on local plasma density and find that spatially localised ULF wave power enhancements are confined within high density patches in the afternoon sector (likely plasmaspheric plumes). The results have critical implications for empirical models of ULF wave power and radial diffusion coefficients. We highlight the necessity of improved characterisation of the highly distorted storm-time cold plasma density distribution, in order to more accurately predict ULF wave power.

Sandhu, J.; Rae, I.; Staples, F.; Hartley, D.; Walach, M.-T.; Elsden, T.; Murphy, K.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 06/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

ULF waves; Geomagnetic storms; Van Allen Probes; radial diffusion; inner magnetosphere; plasmasphere

ULF Wave Driven Radial Diffusion During Geomagnetic Storms: A statistical analysis of Van Allen Probes observations

Abstract The impact of radial diffusion in storm time radiation belt dynamics is well-debated. In this study we quantify the changes and variability in radial diffusion coefficients during geomagnetic storms. A statistical analysis of Van Allen Probes data (2012 − 2019) is conducted to obtain measurements of the magnetic and electric power spectral densities for Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) waves, and corresponding radial diffusion coefficients. The results show global wave power enhancements occur during the storm main phase, and continue into the recovery phase. Local time asymmetries show sources of wave power are both external solar wind driving and internal sources from coupling with ring current ions and substorms. Wave power enhancements are also observed at low L values (L < 4). The accessibility of wave power to low L is attributed to a depression of the Alfvén continuum. The increased wave power drives enhancements in both the magnetic and electric field diffusion coefficients by more than an order of magnitude. Significant variability in diffusion coefficients is observed, with values ranging over several orders of magnitude. A comparison to the Kp parameterised empirical model of Ozeke et al. (2014) is conducted and indicates important differences during storm times. Although the electric field diffusion coefficient is relatively well described by the empirical model, the magnetic field diffusion coefficient is approximately ∼ 10 times larger than predicted. We discuss how differences could be attributed to dataset limitations and assumptions. Alternative storm-time radial diffusion coefficients are provided as a function of L* and storm phase.

Sandhu, J.; Rae, I.; Wygant, J.; Breneman, A.; Tian, S.; Watt, C.; Horne, R.; Ozeke, L.; Georgiou, M.; Walach, M.-T.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

ULF waves; radial diffusion; outer radiation belt; Van Allen Probes; Geomagnetic storms

Determining the Temporal and Spatial Coherence of Plasmaspheric Hiss Waves in the Magnetosphere

Abstract Plasmaspheric hiss is one of the most important plasma waves in the Earth s magnetosphere to contribute to radiation belt dynamics by pitch-angle scattering energetic electrons via wave-particle interactions. There is growing evidence that the temporal and spatial variability of wave-particle interactions are important factors in the construction of diffusion-based models of the radiation belts. Hiss amplitudes are thought to be coherent across large distances and on long timescales inside the plasmapause, which means that hiss can act on radiation belt electrons throughout their drift trajectories for many hours. In this study, we investigate both the spatial and temporal coherence of plasmaspheric hiss between the two Van Allen Probes from November 2012 to July 2019. We find ∼3,264 events where we can determine the correlation of wave amplitudes as a function of both spatial distance and time lag in order to study the spatial and temporal coherence of plasmaspheric hiss. The statistical results show that both the spatial and temporal correlation of plasmaspheric hiss decrease with increasing L-shell, and become incoherent at L > ∼4.5. Inside of L = ∼4.5, we find that hiss is coherent to within a spatial extent of up to ∼1,500 km and a time lag up to ∼10 min. We find that the spatial and temporal coherence of plasmaspheric hiss does not depend strongly on the geomagnetic index (AL*) or magnetic local time. We discuss the ramifications of our results with relevance to understanding the global characteristics of plasmaspheric hiss waves and their role in radiation belt dynamics.

Zhang, Shuai; Rae, Jonathan; Watt, Clare; Degeling, Alexander; Tian, Anmin; Shi, Quanqi; Shen, Xiao-Chen; Smith, Andy; Wang, Mengmeng;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 02/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Van Allen Probes

Challenging the Use of Ring Current Indices During Geomagnetic Storms

Abstract The ring current experiences dramatic enhancements during geomagnetic storms, however understanding the global distribution of ring current energy content is restricted by spacecraft coverage. Many studies use ring current indices as a proxy for energy content, but these indices average over spatial variations and include additional contributions. We have conducted an analysis of Van Allen Probes’ data, identifying the spatial distribution and storm-time variations of energy content. Ion observations from the HOPE and RBSPICE instruments were used to estimate energy content in L-MLT bins. The results show large enhancements particularly in the premidnight sector during the main phase, alongside reductions in local time asymmetry and intensity during the recovery phase. A comparison with estimated energy content using the Sym-H index was conducted. In agreement with previous results, the Sym-H index significantly overestimates (by up to ∼ 4 times) the energy content, and we attribute the difference to contributions from additional current systems. A new finding is an observed temporal discrepancy, where energy content estimates from the Sym-H index maximise 3 to 9 hours earlier than in situ observations. Case studies reveal a complex relationship, where variable degrees of agreement between the Sym-H index and in situ measurements are observed. The results highlight the drawbacks of ring current indices and emphasise the variability of the storm time ring current.

Sandhu, J.; Rae, I.; Walach, M.-T.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 01/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

ring current; Geomagnetic storms; Van Allen Probes; inner magnetosphere; substorms


The Implications of Temporal Variability in Wave-Particle Interactions in Earth s Radiation Belts

Changes in electron flux in Earth s outer radiation belt can be modeled using a diffusion-based framework. Diffusion coefficients D for such models are often constructed from statistical averages of observed inputs. Here, we use stochastic parameterization to investigate the consequences of temporal variability in D. Variability time scales are constrained using Van Allen Probe observations. Results from stochastic parameterization experiments are compared with experiments using D constructed from averaged inputs and an average of observation-specific D. We find that the evolution and final state of the numerical experiment depends upon the variability time scale of D; experiments with longer variability time scales differ from those with shorter time scales, even when the time-integrated diffusion is the same. Short variability time scale experiments converge with solutions obtained using an averaged observation-specific D, and both exhibit greater diffusion than experiments using the averaged-input D. These experiments reveal the importance of temporal variability in radiation belt diffusion.

Watt, C.; Allison, H.; Thompson, R.; Bentley, S.; Meredith, N.; Glauert, S.; Horne, R.; Rae, I.;

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

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

probabilistic methods; stochastic parameterization; Van Allen Probes


Variability of Quasilinear Diffusion Coefficients for Plasmaspheric Hiss

In the outer radiation belt, the acceleration and loss of high-energy electrons is largely controlled by wave-particle interactions. Quasilinear diffusion coefficients are an efficient way to capture the small-scale physics of wave-particle interactions due to magnetospheric wave modes such as plasmaspheric hiss. The strength of quasilinear diffusion coefficients as a function of energy and pitch angle depends on both wave parameters and plasma parameters such as ambient magnetic field strength, plasma number density, and composition. For plasmaspheric hiss in the magnetosphere, observations indicate large variations in the wave intensity and wave normal angle, but less is known about the simultaneous variability of the magnetic field and number density. We use in situ measurements from the Van Allen Probe mission to demonstrate the variability of selected factors that control the size and shape of pitch angle diffusion coefficients: wave intensity, magnetic field strength, and electron number density. We then compare with the variability of diffusion coefficients calculated individually from colocated and simultaneous groups of measurements. We show that the distribution of the plasmaspheric hiss diffusion coefficients is highly non-Gaussian with large variance and that the distributions themselves vary strongly across the three phase space bins studied. In most bins studied, the plasmaspheric hiss diffusion coefficients tend to increase with geomagnetic activity, but our results indicate that new approaches that include natural variability may yield improved parameterizations. We suggest methods like stochastic parameterization of wave-particle interactions could use variability information to improve modeling of the outer radiation belt.

Watt, C.; Allison, H.; Meredith, N.; Thompson, R.; Bentley, S.; Rae, I.; Glauert, S.; Horne, R.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 10/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026401

empirical; Magnetosphere; parameterization; stochastic; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions

Substorm-Ring Current Coupling: A Comparison of Isolated and Compound Substorms

Substorms are a highly variable process, which can occur as an isolated event or as part of a sequence of multiple substorms (compound substorms). In this study we identify how the low-energy population of the ring current and subsequent energization varies for isolated substorms compared to the first substorm of a compound event. Using observations of H+ and O+ ions (1 eV to 50 keV) from the Helium Oxygen Proton Electron instrument onboard Van Allen Probe A, we determine the energy content of the ring current in L-MLT space. We observe that the ring current energy content is significantly enhanced during compound substorms as compared to isolated substorms by \~20\textendash30\%. Furthermore, we observe a significantly larger magnitude of energization (by \~40\textendash50\%) following the onset of compound substorms relative to isolated substorms. Analysis suggests that the differences predominantly arise due to a sustained enhancement in dayside driving associated with compound substorms compared to isolated substorms. The strong solar wind driving prior to onset results in important differences in the time history of the magnetosphere, generating significantly different ring current conditions and responses to substorms. The observations reveal information about the substorm injected population and the transport of the plasma in the inner magnetosphere.

Sandhu, J.; Rae, I.; Freeman, M.; Gkioulidou, M.; Forsyth, C.; Reeves, G.; Murphy, K.; Walach, M.-T.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 08/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026766

inner magnetosphere; ring current; substorms; Van Allen; Van Allen Probes

Reply to \textquoterightThe dynamics of Van Allen belts revisited\textquoteright

Mann, I.; Ozeke, L.; Morley, S.; Murphy, K.; Claudepierre, S.; Turner, D.; Baker, D.; Rae, I.; Kale, A.; Milling, D.; Boyd, A.; Spence, H.; Singer, H.; Dimitrakoudis, S.; Daglis, I.; Honary, F.;

Published by: Nature Physics      Published on: 02/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1038/nphys4351

Van Allen Probes


Energisation of the ring current by substorms

The substorm process releases large amounts of energy into the magnetospheric system, although where the energy is transferred to and how it is partitioned remains an open question. In this study, we address whether the substorm process contributes a significant amount of energy to the ring current. The ring current is a highly variable region, and understanding the energisation processes provides valuable insight into how substorm - ring current coupling may contribute to the generation of storm conditions and provide a source of energy for wave driving. In order to quantify the energy input into the ring current during the substorm process, we analyse RBSPICE and HOPE ion flux measurements for H+, O+, and He+. The energy content of the ring current is estimated and binned spatially for L and MLT. The results are combined with an independently derived substorm event list to perform a statistical analysis of variations in the ring current energy content with substorm phase. We show that the ring current energy is significantly higher in the expansion phase compared to the growth phase, with the energy enhancement persisting into the substorm recovery phase. The characteristics of the energy enhancement suggest the injection of energised ions from the tail plasma sheet following substorm onset. The local time variations indicate a loss of energetic H+ ions in the afternoon sector, likely due to wave-particle interactions. Overall, we find that the average energy input into the ring current is \~9\% of the previously reported energy released during substorms.

Sandhu, J.; Rae, I.; Freeman, M.; Forsyth, C.; Gkioulidou, M.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Jackman, C.; Lam, M.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025766

BSPICE; HOPE; Magnetosphere; ring current; substorms; Van Allen Probes

Determining the mode, frequency, and azimuthal wave number of ULF waves during a HSS and moderate geomagnetic storm

Ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves play a fundamental role in the dynamics of the inner-magnetosphere and outer radiation belt during geomagnetic storms. Broadband ULF wave power can transport energetic electrons via radial diffusion and discrete ULF wave power can energize electrons through a resonant interaction. Using observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, we characterize the evolution of ULF waves during a high-speed solar wind stream (HSS) and moderate geomagnetic storm while there is an enhancement of the outer radiation belt. The Automated Flare Inference of Oscillations (AFINO) code is used to distinguish discrete ULF wave power from broadband wave power during the HSS. During periods of discrete wave power and utilizing the close separation of the MMS spacecraft, we estimate the toroidal mode ULF azimuthal wave number throughout the geomagnetic storm. We concentrate on the toroidal mode as the HSSs compresses the day side magnetosphere resulting in an asymmetric magnetic field topology where toroidal mode waves can interact with energetic electrons. Analysis of the mode structure and wave numbers demonstrates that the generation of the observed ULF waves is a combination of externally driven waves, via the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, and internally driven waves, via unstable ion distributions. Further analysis of the periods and toroidal azimuthal wave numbers suggests that these waves can couple with the core electron radiation belt population via the drift resonance during the storm. The azimuthal wave number and structure of ULF wave power (broadband or discrete) have important implications for the inner-magnetospheric and radiation belt dynamics.

Murphy, Kyle; Inglis, Andrew; Sibeck, David; Rae, Jonathan; Watt, Clare; Silveira, Marcos; Plaschke, Ferdinand; Claudepierre, Seth; Nakamura, Rumi;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2017JA024877

azimuthal wave number; Geomagnetic storms; mode structure; Radiation belts; ULF waves; Van Allen Probes

The global statistical response of the outer radiation belt during geomagnetic storms

Using the total radiation belt electron content calculated from Van Allen Probe phase space density (PSD), the time-dependent and global response of the outer radiation belt during storms is statistically studied. Using PSD reduces the impacts of adiabatic changes in the main phase, allowing a separation of adiabatic and non-adiabatic effects, and revealing a clear modality and repeatable sequence of events in storm-time radiation belt electron dynamics. This sequence exhibits an important first adiabatic invariant (μ) dependent behaviour in the seed (150 MeV/G), relativistic (1000 MeV/G), and ultra-relativistic (4000 MeV/G) populations. The outer radiation belt statistically shows an initial phase dominated by loss followed by a second phase of rapid acceleration, whilst the seed population shows little loss and immediate enhancement. The time sequence of the transition to the acceleration is also strongly μ-dependent and occurs at low μ first, appearing to be repeatable from storm to storm.

Murphy, Kyle; Watt, C.; Mann, Ian; Rae, Jonathan; Sibeck, David; Boyd, A.; Forsyth, C.; Turner, D.; Claudepierre, S.; Baker, D.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 04/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076674

Geomagnetic storms; magnetospheric dynamics; Radiation belts; Solar Wind-Magnetosphere Coupling; statistical analysis; Van Allen Probes


Explaining the dynamics of the ultra-relativistic third Van Allen radiation belt

Since the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts over 50 years ago, an explanation for their complete dynamics has remained elusive. Especially challenging is understanding the recently discovered ultra-relativistic third electron radiation belt. Current theory asserts that loss in the heart of the outer belt, essential to the formation of the third belt, must be controlled by high-frequency plasma wave\textendashparticle scattering into the atmosphere, via whistler mode chorus, plasmaspheric hiss, or electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves. However, this has failed to accurately reproduce the third belt. Using a datadriven, time-dependent specification of ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves we show for the first time how the third radiation belt is established as a simple, elegant consequence of storm-time extremely fast outward ULF wave transport. High-frequency wave\textendashparticle scattering loss into the atmosphere is not needed in this case. When rapid ULF wave transport coupled to a dynamic boundary is accurately specified, the sensitive dynamics controlling the enigmatic ultra-relativistic third radiation belt are naturally explained.

Mann, I.; Ozeke, L.; Murphy, K.; Claudepierre, S.; Turner, D.; Baker, D.; Rae, I.; Kale, A.; Milling, D.; Boyd, A.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Singer, H.; Dimitrakoudis, S.; Daglis, I.; Honary, F.;

Published by: Nature Physics      Published on: 06/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1038/nphys3799

Astrophysical plasmas; Magnetospheric physics; Van Allen Probes

What effect do substorms have on the content of the radiation belts?

Substorms are fundamental and dynamic processes in the magnetosphere, converting captured solar wind magnetic energy into plasma energy. These substorms have been suggested to be a key driver of energetic electron enhancements in the outer radiation belts. Substorms inject a keV \textquotedblleftseed\textquotedblright population into the inner magnetosphere which is subsequently energized through wave-particle interactions up to relativistic energies; however, the extent to which substorms enhance the radiation belts, either directly or indirectly, has never before been quantified. In this study, we examine increases and decreases in the total radiation belt electron content (TRBEC) following substorms and geomagnetically quiet intervals. Our results show that the radiation belts are inherently lossy, shown by a negative median change in TRBEC at all intervals following substorms and quiet intervals. However, there are up to 3 times as many increases in TRBEC following substorm intervals. There is a lag of 1\textendash3 days between the substorm or quiet intervals and their greatest effect on radiation belt content, shown in the difference between the occurrence of increases and losses in TRBEC following substorms and quiet intervals, the mean change in TRBEC following substorms or quiet intervals, and the cross correlation between SuperMAG AL (SML) and TRBEC. However, there is a statistically significant effect on the occurrence of increases and decreases in TRBEC up to a lag of 6 days. Increases in radiation belt content show a significant correlation with SML and SYM-H, but decreases in the radiation belt show no apparent link with magnetospheric activity levels.

Forsyth, C.; Rae, I.; Murphy, K.; Freeman, M.; Huang, C.-L.; Spence, H.; Boyd, A.; Coxon, J.; Jackman, C.; Kalmoni, N.; Watt, C.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 06/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022620

enhancements; losses; Radiation belts; substorm


Modeling cross L shell impacts of magnetopause shadowing and ULF wave radial diffusion in the Van Allen belts

We present simulations of the outer electron radiation belt using a new ULF wave-driven radial diffusion model, including empirical representations of loss due to chorus and plasmaspheric hiss. With an outer boundary condition constrained by in situ electron flux observations, we focus on the impacts of magnetopause shadowing and outward radial diffusion in the heart of the radiation belt. Third invariant conserving solutions are combined to simulate the L shell and time dependence of the differential flux at a fixed energy. Results for the geomagnetically quiet year of 2008 demonstrate not only remarkable cross L shell impacts from magnetopause shadowing but also excellent agreement with the in situ observations even though no internal acceleration source is included in the model. Our model demonstrates powerful utility for capturing the cross-L impacts of magnetopause shadowing with significant prospects for improved space weather forecasting. The potential role of the plasmasphere in creating a third belt is also discussed.

Ozeke, Louis; Mann, Ian; Turner, Drew; Murphy, Kyle; Degeling, Alex; Rae, Jonathan; Milling, David;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 10/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060787

magnetopause shadowing; Radiation belt; ULF wave radial diffusion

Analytic expressions for ULF wave radiation belt radial diffusion coefficients

We present analytic expressions for ULF wave-derived radiation belt radial diffusion coefficients, as a function of L and Kp, which can easily be incorporated into global radiation belt transport models. The diffusion coefficients are derived from statistical representations of ULF wave power, electric field power mapped from ground magnetometer data, and compressional magnetic field power from in situ measurements. We show that the overall electric and magnetic diffusion coefficients are to a good approximation both independent of energy. We present example 1-D radial diffusion results from simulations driven by CRRES-observed time-dependent energy spectra at the outer boundary, under the action of radial diffusion driven by the new ULF wave radial diffusion coefficients and with empirical chorus wave loss terms (as a function of energy, Kp and L). There is excellent agreement between the differential flux produced by the 1-D, Kp-driven, radial diffusion model and CRRES observations of differential electron flux at 0.976 MeV\textemdasheven though the model does not include the effects of local internal acceleration sources. Our results highlight not only the importance of correct specification of radial diffusion coefficients for developing accurate models but also show significant promise for belt specification based on relatively simple models driven by solar wind parameters such as solar wind speed or geomagnetic indices such as Kp.

Ozeke, Louis; Mann, Ian; Murphy, Kyle; Rae, Jonathan; Milling, David;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019204

Diffusion Coefficient; Radiation belt; ULF wave


Discovery of the action of a geophysical synchrotron in the Earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts

Although the Earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts were discovered over 50 years ago, the dominant processes responsible for relativistic electron acceleration, transport and loss remain poorly understood. Here we show evidence for the action of coherent acceleration due to resonance with ultra-low frequency waves on a planetary scale. Data from the CRRES probe, and from the recently launched multi-satellite NASA Van Allen Probes mission, with supporting modeling, collectively show coherent ultra-low frequency interactions which high energy resolution data reveals are far more common than either previously thought or observed. The observed modulations and energy-dependent spatial structure indicate a mode of action analogous to a geophysical synchrotron; this new mode of response represents a significant shift in known Van Allen radiation belt dynamics and structure. These periodic collisionless betatron acceleration processes also have applications in understanding the dynamics of, and periodic electromagnetic emissions from, distant plasma-astrophysical systems.

Mann, Ian; Lee, E.; Claudepierre, S.; Fennell, J.; Degeling, A.; Rae, I.; Baker, D.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Ozeke, L.; Rankin, R.; Milling, D.; Kale, A.; Friedel, R.; Honary, F.;

Published by: Nature Communications      Published on: 11/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3795

Van Allen Probes