Found 37 entries in the Bibliography.
Showing entries from 1 through 37
Abstract During geomagnetically active times such as geomagnetic storms, large amounts of energy can be released into the Earth’s magnetosphere and change the ring current intensity. Previous studies showed that significant enhancement of the ring current was related to geomagnetic storms, while few studies have examined substorm effects on ring current dynamics. In this study, we examine the ring current variation during non-storm time (SYM-H > −50 nT) substorms, especially during super-substorms ( AE > 1000 nT). We perform a statistical analysis of ring current plasma pressure and number flux of various ion species under different substorm conditions, based on Van Allen Probe observations. The plasma pressure and ion fluxes of the ring current increased dramatically during super-substorms, while little change was observed for substorms with AE < 1000 nT. The results shown in this study indicate that a non-storm time super-substorm may also have a significant contribution to the ring current.
Published by: Earth and Planetary Physics Published on: 06/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.26464/epp2021032
Abstract After the launch of Van Allen Probes, the three-belt structures of ultra-relativistic electrons are discovered. In this study, we investigate the three-belt structures of sub-MeV electrons, which may form under different mechanism compared with those of ultra-relativistic electrons and are worth in-depth analysis. Based on the differential flux data from MagEIS onboard RBSP-B satellite, we find 54 events, in which two comparable peaks of sub-MeV electron fluxes and a slot appear where there should be the outer radiation belt. Through the statistical analysis, the three-belt structures of sub-MeV electrons are found to be closely related to SYM-H and AE indices. The 2-day SYM-H minimum and AE maximum before the event have a linear trend with the remnant belt and the “second slot” locations. The L values of the remnant belt and the “second slot” of different energy electrons decrease as energy increases in general and show interesting characteristics during their temporal evolution. Moreover, the lifetime of the remnant belt of different energy electrons increases as energy increases. We find similarities and differences between sub-MeV and ultra-relativistic electrons three-belt events, which provides a new perspective in three-belt structure study.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 06/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JA029385
AbstractThe wedge-like and nose-like ion spectral structures, named after their characteristic shapes in the energy-time spectrograms, appear to be distinctively different structures in the Earth s inner magnetosphere. Here we present a case study with conjugate observations from the Arase spacecraft and the twin Van Allen Probes on July 1 and 2, 2017, which displayed the characteristic signatures of the wedge-like and nose-like ion structures, respectively. When the spacecraft nearly intersected at L =2.8, the two structures overlapped with enhanced ion fluxes in the energy range of 1-10 keV. These observations suggest that the wedge-like and nose-like spectral signatures are merely the manifestations of one single structure along different spacecraft trajectories. This finding is further validated by the reproduction of both structures from a particle-tracing model, which also indicates their formation processes associated with the intermittent substorm injections in the nightside magnetosphere.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 06/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL093930
Abstract In the outer radiation belt, localized ULF waves can interact with energetic electrons by drift resonance, leading to quasiperiodic oscillations. The oscillations in the pitch angle spectrum can be characterized by either boomerang-shaped or straight stripes. Previous studies have shown that boomerang-shaped stripes evolve from straight ones when electrons drift away from the localized wave interaction region. Based on the time-of-flight technique on the pitch angle-dependent drift velocity, the origin can be remotely identified from the pitch angle dispersion. We report 27 straight stripe events and 86 boomerang-shaped events observed by Van Allen Probes from 2013/01/01 to 2017/12/31. Statistical study shows a good coincidence between the locations of straight ones and traceback regions from boomerang-shaped ones. These locations, mainly located in noon-to-dusk region, coincide well with the plasmaspheric plumes. Thus localized ULF waves trapped in the plume may result in the preference of localized ULF waves-electron interactions at noon-to-dusk region.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 05/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL093377
Abstract Van Allen Probes observations of ion spectra often show a sustained gap within a very narrow energy range throughout the full orbit. To understand their formation mechanism, we statistically investigate the characteristics of the narrow gaps for oxygen ions and find that they are most frequently observed near the noon sector with a peak occurrence rate of over 30\%. The magnetic moment (μ) of the oxygen ions in the gap shows a strong dependence on magnetic local time (MLT), with higher and lower μ in the morning and afternoon sectors, respectively. Moreover, we find through superposed epoch analysis that the gap formation also depends on geomagnetic conditions. Those gaps formed at lower magnetic moments (μ < 3000 keV/G) are associated with stable convection electric fields, which enable magnetospheric ions to follow a steady drift pattern that facilitates the gap formation by corotational drift resonance. On the other hand, gaps with higher μ values are statistically preceded by a gradual increase of geomagnetic activity. We suggest that ions within the gap were originally located inside the Alfven layer following closed drift paths, before they were transitioned into open drift paths as the convection electric field was enhanced. The sunward drift of these ions, with very low fluxes, forms a drainage void in the dayside magnetosphere manifested as the sustained gap in the oxygen spectrum. This scenario is supported by particle-tracing simulations, which reproduce most of the observed characteristics and therefore provide new insights into inner magnetospheric dynamics. 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/10.1029/2020JA029092
Abstract Drift-bounce resonance between ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves and ring current ions has been widely studied, because of its important role in ring current acceleration and relevant geomagnetic activities. To identify drift-bounce resonance in observations, 180° phase shifts across resonant pitch angle have been proposed as diagnostic signatures. This study, however, presents observations that suggest this criterion may be invalid when phase space density (PSD) distributions vary non-monochromatically with energy. We identified 14 ULF wave-ion interaction cases from 2-year Van Allen Probes data. In these cases, 180° phase shifts across pitch angle are observed at particular energies. Near these energies, pitch angle-dependent PSD bump-on-tail distributions were also observed. As a result, at fixed energies, the sign of ion PSD energy gradient changes across pitch angle, which then can result in the observed 180° phase shift. Based on the observations, we suggest 180° phase shifts across pitch angle can also result from pitch angle-dependent bump-on-tail distributions, which should be taken into account in future ULF wave-ion interaction studies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 03/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA029025
Ring current decay during storm recovery phase may be affected by different loss processes. In this study, we have investigated the lifetimes of ring current ions (H+ and O+) of energies from 1 keV to several hundred keV at L shell from 3 to 6 during the storm recovery phase through a statistical survey. The observational data of 48 geomagnetic storms from March 2013 to May 2019 are collected based on Van Allen Probe observations. We find that (1) the observed lifetimes of H+ and O+ in general increase with L shell and (2) the lifetimes of H+ is short than that of O+ when E < ∼50 keV while the situation is reversed when E > ∼50 keV. In addition, we have made use of the charge exchange theory, combined with previous experimental results on the charge exchange cross section and two distribution models of neutral hydrogen atoms in the exosphere, so as to directly estimate the ring current ions decay caused by charge exchange mechanism only. Through the comparison between the model predictions of charge exchange lifetime and the observed lifetimes, we find that (3) the observed lifetimes are in general consistent with model results, which confirms that charge exchange is a dominant loss mechanism of ring current ions during storm recovery phase.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 12/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA028500
Recent observations in the nightside inner magnetosphere have identified a series of wedge-like spectral structures in the energy-time spectrograms of oxygen, helium, and hydrogen ion fluxes. Although the shapes and distributions of these structures have been characterized by case and statistical studies, their formation mechanism remains unclear. Here we utilize a particle tracing model to reproduce the wedge-like structures successively observed by the twin Van Allen Probes. The model suggests that these structures originate from intermittent substorm injection, and it is the accessibility region of these injected ions that determines their shapes. This mechanism is similar to the formation of another kind of structures, the inner magnetospheric nose-like structures, except that the wedge-like structures are separated from the tail population by the discontinuation of ion injections. This scenario is also supported by the distribution statistics of wedge-like structures, which provides new insights into the dynamics of the magnetotail-inner magnetosphere coupled system.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 11/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA028420
In this study, ion data from the Helium, Oxygen, Proton, and Electron (HOPE) spectrometers onboard Van Allen Probes reveal the existence of wedge-like structures of O+, He+, and H+ ions deep in the inner magnetosphere. The behaviors of the wedge-like structures in terms of temporal evolution, spatial distribution, upper energy limit, as well as dependence on solar wind and different geomagnetic indices are investigated from both event studies of several consecutive orbits on 3 February 2013 and the subsequent statistical analyses using 4 years of data. Unlike the dominant distribution at –8 in the dayside observed by the polar orbit satellites in previous studies, the wedge-like structures deep in the equatorial plane of the inner magnetosphere are found mostly at the Mcllwain L shells of –5 and have a preferential location in the duskside and nightside. The O+ and He+ structures can extend to smaller L shells with higher upper energy limits than the H+ structures, while the upper energy limits of all these particle species show a similar variation tendency with respect to magnetic local time (MLT) and L. Observations indicate that these wedge-like structures are probably attributed to fresh substorm injections from the outer region.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 11/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA028192
Ultralow frequency (ULF) wave-particle interactions play a significant role in the radiation belt dynamic process, during which drift resonance can accelerate and transport energetic electrons in the outer radiation belt. Observations of wave-electron drift resonance are characterized by quasiperiodic straight or “boomerang-shaped” stripes in the pitch angle spectrogram. Here we present an ULF wave event on 1 December 2015, during which both kinds stripes were observed by Van Allen Probes A and B, respectively. Using the time-of-flight technique based on the pitch angle dependence of electron drift velocities, the “boomerang-shaped” stripes are inferred to originate from straight stripes at the time and location covered by Probe B. Given that straight stripes were indeed observed by Probe B, our observations strongly support the charged particle interacting with azimuthally localized ULF waves. A new method is provided to identify the location of ULF wave-particle interaction on the basis of remote observations of electron flux modulations.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 07/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL087960
The background cold electron density plays an important role in plasma and wave dynamics. Here, we investigate an event with clear modulation of the particle fluxes and wave intensities by background electron density irregularities based on Van Allen Probes observations. The energies at the peak fluxes of protons and Helium ions of 100 eV to several keV are well correlated with the total electron density variation. Intense electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) and magnetosonic (MS) waves are simultaneously observed in the high-density regions and disappear in low-density regions. Based on the linear theory of wave growth, the EMIC waves are generated by the ~10 keV protons, while most MS waves are generated by the positive gradient of proton phase space density at several hundred eV in the high-density regions. Our results indicate the importance of background plasma density structures in generation of plasma waves by unstable ion distributions.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 07/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL088855
In this study we focus on the radiation belt dynamics driven by the geomagnetic storms during September 2017. Besides the long-lasting three-belt structures of ultrarelativistic electrons (>2 MeV, existing for tens of days), which has been studied intensively during the Van Allen Probe era, it is found that magnetospheric electrons of hundreds of keVs can also have three-belt structures at similar L extent during storm time. Measurements of 500–800 keV electrons from MagEIS instrument onboard Van Allen Probes show double-peaked (L = 3.5 and 4.5, respectively) flux-versus-L-shell profile in the outer belt, which lasted for 2–3 days. During the time interval of such transient three-belt structure, the energy-versus-L spectrogram shows novel distributions differing from both “S-shaped” and “V-shaped” spectrograms reported previously. Such peculiar distribution also illustrates the energy-dependent occurrence of the three-belt profile. The gradual formation of “reversed energy spectrum” at L ∼ 3.5 also indicates that hiss scattering inside the plasmapause contributed to the fast decay of sub-MeV remnant belt.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 07/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA028031
In this study, we present Van Allen Probe observations showing that seed (hundreds of keV) and core ( 1 MeV) electrons can resonate with ultra-low-frequency (ULF) wave modes with distinctive m values simultaneously. An unusual electron energy spectrogram with double-banded resonant structure was recorded by energetic particle, composition, and thermal plasma (ECT)-magnetic electron ion spectrometer (MagEIS) and, meanwhile, boomerang stripes in pitch angle spectrogram appeared at the lower energy band. A localized drift resonance with m = 10 wave component was responsible for the resonant band peaked at ∼200 keV while a global drift resonance with m = 3 component gave rise to the upper band resonance peaked at ∼1 MeV. Time-Of-Flight on boomerang stripes suggested that the localized drift resonance with ∼200 keV electrons was confined within the plasmaspheric plume. Electron flux modulations were reproduced by numerical simulations in good consistency with the observations, supporting the scenario that localized and global drift resonance could coexist in the outer belt electron dynamics simultaneously.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 05/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL088019
Abstract We investigate the shapes of the inner boundary of the outer radiation belt during different geomagnetic storm phases using energetic electron observations from Van Allen Probes. The case of two consecutive but isolated storms in April 2016 shows that (a) the inner boundary, as a function of L shell and energy, exhibits a “V-shaped” form with the energetic electrons showing a kappa-like energy spectrum (electron flux steeply falling with increasing energies), whereas it is in a “S-shaped” form as the energetic electrons show a reversed energy spectrum (electron flux going up with increasing energies from hundreds of keV to ∼1 MeV); (b) the boundary is abruptly transformed from S to V shape during the storm main phase and retains in V shape for several days until it evolves into S shape during the late recovery phase. The main statistical results from 37 isolated geomagnetic storms between 2013 and 2017 present that (a) the more SYM-H drops, the closest to Earth the transition from V to S shape starts, with a linear correlation coefficient of ∼0.7; (b) the minimum energy at which the transition starts is between 100 and 550 keV (typically, less than 250 keV); (c) the transition from V to S shape typically occurs in the plasmasphere.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 04/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027309
We investigate the shapes of the inner boundary of the outer radiation belt during different geomagnetic storm phases using energetic electron observations from Van Allen Probes. The case of two consecutive but isolated storms in April 2016 shows that (a) the inner boundary, as a function of L shell and energy, exhibits a “V-shaped” form with the energetic electrons showing a kappa-like energy spectrum (electron flux steeply falling with increasing energies), whereas it is in a “S-shaped” form as the energetic electrons show a reversed energy spectrum (electron flux going up with increasing energies from hundreds of keV to ∼1 MeV); (b) the boundary is abruptly transformed from S to V shape during the storm main phase and retains in V shape for several days until it evolves into S shape during the late recovery phase. The main statistical results from 37 isolated geomagnetic storms between 2013 and 2017 present that (a) the more SYM-H drops, the closest to Earth the transition from V to S shape starts, with a linear correlation coefficient of ∼0.7; (b) the minimum energy at which the transition starts is between 100 and 550 keV (typically, less than 250 keV); (c) the transition from V to S shape typically occurs in the plasmasphere.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 04/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JA027309
The tens of kiloelectron volt ions observed in the ring current region at L ~ 3\textendash7 generally have pancake pitch angle distributions, that is, peaked at 90\textdegree. However, in this study, by using the Van Allen Probe observations on the dayside, unexpectedly, we have found that about 5\% time, protons with energies of ~30 to 50 keV show two distinct populations, having an additional field-aligned population overlapping with the original pancake population. The newly appearing field-aligned populations have higher occurrence rates at ~12\textendash16 magnetic local time during geomagnetically active times. In particular, we have studied eight such events in detail and found that the source regions are located around 12 to 18 magnetic local time which coincides with our statistical result. Based on the ionospheric and geosynchronous observations, it is suggested that these energetic ions with field-aligned pitch angle distributions probably are accelerated near postnoon in association with ionospheric disturbances that are triggered by tail injections.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 01/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: 10.1029/2019GL086384
Six years of Van Allen Probes data are used to investigate cold plasmaspheric electrons affected by ultralow-frequency (ULF) waves in the inner magnetosphere (L<7) including spatial distributions, occurrence conditions, and resonant energy range. Events exhibit a global distribution within L= 4\textendash7 but preferentially occur at L\~5.5\textendash7 in the dayside, while there is higher occurrence rate in the duskside than dawnside. They can occur under different geomagnetic activities and solar wind velocities (VS), but the occurrence rates are increasing with larger AE, |SYMH|, and VS. These features are closely associated with the generation and propagation of ULF waves in Pc4 (45\textendash150 s) and Pc5 (150\textendash600 s) bands. Combined with electron observations from HOPE instrument, the resonant energies inferred from wave power indicate that cold electrons at ones to hundreds of electron volts can be affected by ULF waves. This study may shed new light on further investigations on the acceleration and transportation of cold plasmaspheric particles that would affect plasmaspheric material release to the Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere and instabilities for exciting various waves.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 10/2019
YEAR: 2019   DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027009
In Earth\textquoterights inner magnetosphere, electromagnetic waves in the ultra-low frequency (ULF) range play an important role in accelerating and diffusing charged particles via drift resonance. In conventional drift-resonance theory, linearization is applied under the assumption of weak wave-particle energy exchange so particle trajectories are unperturbed. For ULF waves with larger amplitudes and/or durations, however, the conventional theory becomes inaccurate since particle trajectories are strongly perturbed. Here, we extend the drift-resonance theory into a nonlinear regime, to formulate nonlinear trapping of particles in a wave-carried potential well, and predict the corresponding observable signatures such as rolled-up structures in particle energy spectrum. After considering how this manifests in particle data with finite energy resolution, we compare the predicted signatures with Van Allen Probes observations. Their good agreement provides the first observational evidence for the occurrence of nonlinear drift resonance, highlighting the importance of nonlinear effects in magnetospheric particle dynamics under ULF waves.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 08/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2018GL079038
By analyzing observations from Van Allen Probes in its inbound and outbound orbits, we present evidence of coherent enhancement of cold plasmaspheric electrons and ions due to drift-bounce resonance with ULF waves. From 18:00 UT on 28 May 2017 to 10:00 UT on 29 May 2017, newly formed poloidal mode standing ULF waves with significant electric field oscillations were observed in two consecutive orbits when Probe B was travelling inbound. In contrast to observations during outbound orbits, the cold (< 150 eV) electorns measured by the HOPE instrument were characterized by flux enhancements several times larger and bi-directional pitch angle distributions during inbound orbits. The electron number density inferred from upper hybrid waves is twice as larger as during inbound orbits, which were also confirmed by an increase of spacecraft potential. The observed ULF waves are identified as second harmonic modes that satisfy the drift-bounce resonant condition of N=1 with cold electrons. An enhancement of the plasmaspheric ion number density to restore charge neutrality of plasmas in inbound orbits is observed, which is associated with an increase of ULF wave periods. The observations suggest that the dynamics of plasmaspheric electrons is modified by ULF waves through drift-bounce resonance, and that plasmaspheric ions are indirectly impacted.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 06/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025255
Ultra-low-frequency (ULF) wave and test particle models are used to investigate the pitch angle and energy dependence of ion differential fluxes measured by the Van Allen Probes spacecraft on October 6th, 2012. Analysis of the satellite data reveals modulations in differential flux resulting from drift resonance between H+ ions and fundamental mode poloidal Alfv\ en waves detected near the magnetic equator at L\~5.7. Results obtained from simulations reproduce important features of the observations, including a substantial enhancement of the differential flux between \~20\textdegree - 40\textdegree pitch angle for ion energies between \~90 - 220keV, and an absence of flux modulations at 90\textdegree. The numerical results confirm predictions of drift-bounce resonance theory and show good quantitative agreement with observations of modulations in differential flux produced by ULF waves.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 05/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2017JA025123
Electron flux measurements outside geosynchronous orbit (GSO) obtained by the BeiDa Imaging Electron Spectrometer instrument onboard a 55 degrees-inclined GSO satellite, and inside GSO obtained by the Van Allen Probes are analyzed to investigate the temporal and spatial evolutions of the substorm injection region. In one year data started from October 2015, 63 injection events are identified. Firstly, our study shows that the injection signatures can be detected in a large radial extent in one single event, for example, from L \~ 4.1 to L \~ 9.3. Secondly, injection onset times are derived from the energy dispersion of particle injection signatures of each satellite. The difference of the onset times among satellites reveals that the injection boundary, termed as \textquotedblleftinjection front\textquotedblright in this paper, can propagate both earthward and tailward with a speed varying from a few km/s to \~100 km/s. Thirdly, evolutions of the upper-cutoff magnetic moments (μuc) of injected electrons are analyzed, upon which the injection events are classified into two categories. In one category, the μuc observed by two radially separated satellites are equal taking into account the error caused by the finite width of energy channels, whereas in the other category, μuc at lower L shells are smaller than that at higher L shells.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 02/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1002/2018JA025185
We report observational evidence of cold plamsmaspheric electron (< 200 eV) acceleration by ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves in the plasmaspheric boundary layer on 10 September 2015. Strongly enhanced cold electron fluxes in the energy spectrogram were observed along with second harmonic mode waves with a period of about 1 minute which lasted several hours during two consecutive Van Allen Probe B orbits. Cold electron (<200 eV) and energetic proton (10-20 keV) bi-directional pitch angle signatures observed during the event are suggestive of the drift-bounce resonance mechanism. The correlation between enhanced energy fluxes and ULF waves leads to the conclusions that plasmaspheric dynamics is strongly affected by ULF waves. Van Allen Probe A and B, GOES 13, GOES 15 and MMS 1 observations suggest ULF waves in the event were strongest on the dusk-side magnetosphere. Measurements from MMS 1 contain no evidence of an external wave source during the period when ULF waves and injected energetic protons with a bump-on-tail distribution were detected by Van Allen Probe B. This suggests that the observed ULF waves were probably excited by a localized drift-bounce resonant instability, with the free energy supplied by substorm-injected energetic protons. The observations by Van Allen Probe B suggest that energy transfer between particle species in different energy ranges can take place through the action of ULF waves, demonstrating the important role of these waves in the dynamical processes of the inner magnetosphere.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 08/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024316
We present an analysis of \textquotedblleftboomerang-shaped\textquotedblright pitch angle evolutions of outer radiation belt relativistic electrons observed by the Van Allen Probes after the passage of an interplanetary shock on June 7th, 2014. The flux at different pitch angles is modulated by Pc5 waves, with equatorially mirroring electrons reaching the satellite first. For 90o pitch angle electrons, the phase change of the flux modulations across energy exceeds 180o, and increasingly tilts with time. Using estimates of the arrival time of particles of different pitch angles at the spacecraft location, a scenario is investigated in which shock-induced ULF waves interact with electrons through the drift resonance mechanism in a localized region westward of the spacecraft. Numerical calculations on particle energy gain with the modified ULF wave field reproduce the observed boomerang stripes and modulations in the electron energy spectrogram. The study of boomerang stripes and their relationship to drift-resonance taking place at a location different from the observation point adds new understanding of the processes controlling the dynamics of the outer radiation belt.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 07/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074006
CME- or CIR-driven storms can change the electron distributions in the radiation belt dramatically, which can in turn affect the spacecraft in this region or induce geomagnetic effects. The Van Allen Probes twin spacecraft, launched on 30 August 2012, orbit near the equatorial plane and across a wide range of L* with apogee at 5.8 RE and perigee at 620 km. Electron data from Van Allen Probes MagEIS and REPT instruments have been binned every six hours at L*=3 (defined as 2.5 Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 07/2017 YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024100
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 07/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024100
We present Van Allen Probe observation of drift-resonance interaction between energetic electrons and ultralow frequency (ULF) waves on 29 October 2013. Oscillations in electron flux were observed at the period of \~450 s, which is also the dominant period of the observed ULF magnetic pulsations. The phase shift of the electron fluxes (\~50 to 150 keV) across the estimated resonant energy (\~104 keV) is \~360\textdegree. This phase relationship is different from the characteristic 180\textdegree phase shift as expected from the drift-resonance theory. We speculate that the additional 180\textdegree phase difference arises from the inversion of electron phase space density (PSD) gradient, which in turn is caused by the drift motion of the substorm injected electrons. This PSD gradient adjusts the characteristic particle signatures in the drift-resonance theory, which indicates a coupling effect between the magnetotail and the radiation belt and helps to better understand the wave-particle interaction in the magnetosphere.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 02/2017
YEAR: 2017   DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071252
We present Van Allen Probe observation of drift-resonance interaction between energetic electrons and ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves on October 29, 2013. Oscillations in electron flux were observed at the period of \~450s, which is also the dominant period of the observed ULF magnetic pulsations. The phase shift of the electron fluxes (\~50 to 150 keV) across the estimated resonant energy (\~104 keV) is \~360\textdegree. This phase relationship is different from the characteristic 180\textdegree phase shift as expected from the drift-resonance theory. We speculate that the additional 180\textdegree phase difference arises from the inversion of electron phase space density (PSD) gradient, which in turn is caused by the drift motion of the substorm injected electrons. This PSD gradient adjusts the characteristic particle signatures in the drift-resonance theory, which indicates a coupling effect between the magnetotail and the radiation belt and helps to better understand the wave-particle interaction in the magnetosphere.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 12/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071252
Interactions between interplanetary (IP) shocks and the Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere manifest many important space physics phenomena including low-energy ion flux enhancements and particle acceleration. In order to investigate the mechanisms driving shock-induced enhancement of low-energy ion flux, we have examined two IP shock events that occurred when the Van Allen Probes were located near the equator while ionospheric and ground observations were available around the spacecraft footprints. We have found that, associated with the shock arrival, electromagnetic fields intensified, and low-energy ion fluxes, including H+, He+, and O+, were enhanced dramatically in both the parallel and perpendicular directions. During the 2 October 2013 shock event, both parallel and perpendicular flux enhancements lasted more than 20 min with larger fluxes observed in the perpendicular direction. In contrast, for the 15 March 2013 shock event, the low-energy perpendicular ion fluxes increased only in the first 5 min during an impulse of electric field, while the parallel flux enhancement lasted more than 30 min. In addition, ionospheric outflows were observed after shock arrivals. From a simple particle motion calculation, we found that the rapid response of low-energy ions is due to drifts of plasmaspheric population by the enhanced electric field. However, the fast acceleration in the perpendicular direction cannot solely be explained by E \texttimes B drift but betatron acceleration also plays a role. Adiabatic acceleration may also explain the fast response of the enhanced parallel ion fluxes, while ion outflows may contribute to the enhanced parallel fluxes that last longer than the perpendicular fluxes.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 06/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022808
We present Van Allen Probes observations of modulations in the flux of very energetic electrons up to a few MeV and protons between 1200 - 1400 UT on February 19th, 2014. During this event the spacecraft were in the dayside magnetosphere at L*≈5.5. The modulations extended across a wide range of particle energies, from 79.80 keV to 2.85 MeV for electrons and from 82.85 keV to 636.18 keV for protons. The fluxes of π/2 pitch angle particles were observed to attain maximum values simultaneously with the ULF compressional magnetic field component reaching a minimum. We use peak-to-valley ratios to quantify the strength of the modulation effect, finding that the modulation is larger at higher energies than at lower energies. It is shown that the compressional wave modulation of the particle distribution is due to the mirror effect, which can trap relativistic electrons efficiently for energies up to 2.85 MeV, and trap protons up to ≈600 keV. Larger peak-to-valley ratios at higher energies also attributed to the mirror effect. Finally, we suggest that protons with energies higher than 636.18 keV can not be trapped by the compressional ULF wave efficiently due to the finite Larmor radius effect.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 05/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022706
On 23 November 2012, a sudden dropout of the relativistic electron flux was observed after an interplanetary shock arrival. The dropout peaks at \~1MeV and more than 80\% of the electrons disappeared from the drift shell. Van Allen twin Probes observed a sharp electron flux dropout with clear energy dispersion signals. The repeating flux dropout and recovery signatures, or \textquotedblleftdropout echoes\textquotedblright, constitute a new phenomenon referred to as a \textquotedblleftdrifting electron dropout\textquotedblright with a limited initial spatial range. The azimuthal range of the dropout is estimated to be on the duskside, from \~1300 to 0100 LT. We conclude that the shock-induced electron dropout is not caused by the magnetopause shadowing. The dropout and consequent echoes suggest that the radial migration of relativistic electrons is induced by the strong dusk-dawn asymmetric interplanetary shock compression on the magnetosphere
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 05/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069140
Zebra stripes\textquotedblright are newly found energetic electron energy-spatial (L shell) distributed structure with an energy between tens to a few hundreds keV in the inner radiation belt. Using high-quality measurements of electron fluxes from Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE) on board the twin Van Allen Probes, we carry out case and statistical studies from April 2013 to April 2014 to study the structural and evolutionary characteristics of zebra stripes below L = 3. It is revealed that the zebra stripes can be transformed into evenly spaced patterns in the electron drift frequency coordinate: the detrended logarithmic fluxes in each L shell region can be well described by sinusoidal functions of drift frequency. The \textquotedblleftwave number\textquotedblright of this sinusoidal function, which corresponds to the reciprocal of the gap between two adjacent peaks in the drift frequency coordinate, increases in proportion to real time. Further, these structural and evolutionary characteristics of zebra stripes can be reproduced by an analytic model of the evolution of the particle distribution under a single monochromatic or static azimuthal electric field. It is shown that the essential ingredient for the formation of multiple zebra stripes is the periodic drift of particles. The amplitude of the zebra stripes shows a good positive correlation with Kp index, which indicates that the generation mechanism of zebra stripes should be related to geomagnetic activities
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 05/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/2015JA022077
Ultralow frequency (ULF) electromagnetic waves in Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere can accelerate charged particles via a process called drift resonance. In the conventional drift-resonance theory, a default assumption is that the wave growth rate is time-independent, positive, and extremely small. However, this is not the case for ULF waves in the real magnetosphere. The ULF waves must have experienced an earlier growth stage when their energy was taken from external and/or internal sources, and as time proceeds the waves have to be damped with a negative growth rate. Therefore, a more generalized theory on particle behavior during different stages of ULF wave evolution is required. In this paper, we introduce a time-dependent imaginary wave frequency to accommodate the growth and damping of the waves in the drift-resonance theory, so that the wave-particle interactions during the entire wave lifespan can be studied. We then predict from the generalized theory particle signatures during different stages of the wave evolution, which are consistent with observations from Van Allen Probes. The more generalized theory, therefore, provides new insights into ULF wave evolution and wave-particle interactions in the magnetosphere.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 03/2016
YEAR: 2016   DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022447
Van Allen radiation belts are typically two zones of energetic particles encircling the Earth separated by the slot region. How the outer radiation belt electrons are accelerated to relativistic energies remains an unanswered question. Recent studies have presented compelling evidence for the local acceleration by very-low-frequency (VLF) chorus waves. However, there has been a competing theory to the local acceleration, radial diffusion by ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves, whose importance has not yet been determined definitively. Here we report a unique radiation belt event with intense ULF waves but no detectable VLF chorus waves. Our results demonstrate that the ULF waves moved the inner edge of the outer radiation belt earthward 0.3 Earth radii and enhanced the relativistic electron fluxes by up to one order of magnitude near the slot region within about 10 h, providing strong evidence for the radial diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons.
Su, Zhenpeng; Zhu, Hui; Xiao, Fuliang; Zong, Q.-G.; Zhou, X.-Z.; Zheng, Huinan; Wang, Yuming; Wang, Shui; Hao, Y.-X.; Gao, Zhonglei; He, Zhaoguo; Baker, D.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Blake, J.; Wygant, J.;
Published by: Nature Communications Published on: 12/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10096
Ultralow frequency electromagnetic oscillations, interpreted as standing hydromagnetic waves in the magnetosphere, are a major energy source that accelerates electrons to relativistic energies in the Van Allen radiation belt. Electrons can rapidly gain energy from the waves when they resonate via a process called drift resonance, which is observationally characterized by energy-dependent phase differences between electron flux and electromagnetic oscillations. Such dependence has been recently observed and interpreted as spacecraft identifications of drift resonance electron acceleration. Here we show that in the initial wave cycles, the observed phase relationship differs from that characteristic of well-developed drift resonance. We further examine the differences and find that they are imprints of impulse-excited, coupled fast-Alfv\ en waves before they transform into more typical standing waves. Our identification of such imprints provides a new understanding of how energy couples in the inner magnetosphere, and a new diagnostic for the generation and growth of magnetospheric hydromagnetic pulsations.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 08/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/grl.v42.1510.1002/2015GL064988
Analysis of Cluster spacecraft data shows that intense ultralow frequency (ULF) waves in the inner magnetosphere can be excited by the impact of interplanetary shocks and solar wind dynamic pressure variations. The observations reveal that such waves can be damped away rapidly in a few tens of minutes. Here we examine mechanisms of ULF wave damping for two interplanetary shocks observed by Cluster on 7 November 2004 and 30 August 2001. The mechanisms considered are ionospheric joule heating, Landau damping, and waveguide energy propagation. It is shown that Landau damping provides the dominant ULF wave damping for the shock events of interest. It is further demonstrated that damping is caused by drift-bounce resonance with ions in the energy range of a few keV. Landau damping is shown to be more effective in the plasmasphere boundary layer due to the higher proportion of Landau resonant ions that exist in that region.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 03/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020761
We study the rapid outward extension of the electron radiation belt on a timescale of several hours during three events observed by RBSP and THEMIS satellites, and particularly quantify the contributions of substorm injections and chorus waves to the electron flux enhancement near the outer boundary of radiation belt. A comprehensive analysis including both observations and simulations is performed for the first event on 26 May 2013. The outer boundary of electron radiation belt moved from L = 5.5 to L > 6.07 over about 6 hours, with up to four orders of magnitude enhancement in the 30 keV-5 MeV electron fluxes at L = 6. The observations show that the substorm injection can cause 100\% and 20\% of the total subrelativistic (~0.1 MeV) and relativistic (2-5 MeV) electron flux enhancements within a few minutes. The data-driven simulation supports that the strong chorus waves can yield 60\%-80\% of the total energetic (0.2-5.0 MeV) electron flux enhancement within about 6 hours. Some simple analyses are further given for the other two events on 2 and 29 June 2013, in which the contributions of substorm injections and chorus waves are shown to be qualitatively comparable to those for the first event. These results clearly illustrate the respective importance of substorm injections and chorus waves for the evolution of radiation belt electrons at different energies on a relatively short timescale.
Su, Zhenpeng; Zhu, Hui; Xiao, Fuliang; Zheng, Huinan; Wang, Yuming; Zong, Q.-G.; He, Zhaoguo; Shen, Chao; Zhang, Min; Wang, Shui; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Funsten, H.; Blake, J.; Baker, D.;
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 12/2014
YEAR: 2014   DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020709
We investigate the magnetospheric MHD and energetic electron response to a Storm Sudden Commencement (SSC) and subsequent magnetopause buffeting, focusing on an interval following an SSC event on 25 November 2001. We find that the electron flux signatures observed by LANL, Cluster, and GOES spacecraft during this event can largely be reproduced using an advective kinetic model for electron phase space density, using externally prescribed electromagnetic field inputs, (herein described as a \textquotedbllefttest-kinetic model\textquotedblright) with electromagnetic field inputs provided by a 2-D linear ideal MHD model for ULF waves. In particular, we find modulations in electron flux phase shifted by 90\textdegree from the local azimuthal ULF wave electric field (Eφ) and a net enhancement in electron flux after 1.5 h for energies between 500 keV and 1.5 MeV near geosynchronous orbit. We also demonstrate that electrons in this energy range satisfy the drift resonance condition for the ULF waves produced by the MHD model. This confirms the conclusions reached by Tan et al. (2011), that the energization process in this case is dominated by drift-resonant interactions between electrons and MHD fast mode waves, produced by fluctuations in solar wind dynamic pressure.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 11/2014
YEAR: 2014   DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019672
We present in situ observations of a shock-induced substorm-like event on 13 April 2013 observed by the newly launched Van Allen twin probes. Substorm-like electron injections with energy of 30\textendash500 keV were observed in the region from L\~5.2 to 5.5 immediately after the shock arrival (followed by energetic electron drift echoes). Meanwhile, the electron flux was clearly and strongly varying on the ULF wave time scale. It is found that both toroidal and poloidal mode ULF waves with a period of 150 s emerged following the magnetotail magnetic field reconfiguration after the interplanetary (IP) shock passage. The poloidal mode is more intense than the toroidal mode. The 90\textdegree phase shift between the poloidal mode Br and Ea suggests the standing poloidal waves in the Northern Hemisphere. Furthermore, the energetic electron flux modulations indicate that the azimuthal wave number is \~14. Direct evidence of drift resonance between the injected electrons and the excited poloidal ULF wave has been obtained. The resonant energy is estimated to be between 150 keV and 230 keV. Two possible scenaria on ULF wave triggering are discussed: vortex-like flow structure-driven field line resonance and ULF wave growth through drift resonance. It is found that the IP shock may trigger intense ULF wave and energetic electron behavior at L\~3 to 6 on the nightside, while the time profile of the wave is different from dayside cases.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 10/2014
YEAR: 2014   DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020023