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AbstractPlasma sheet electron precipitation into the diffuse aurora is critical for magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. Recent studies have shown that electron phase space holes can pitch-angle scatter electrons and may produce plasma sheet electron precipitation. These studies have assumed identical electron hole parameters to estimate electron scattering rates (Vasko et al., 2018). In this study, we have re-evaluated the efficiency of this scattering by incorporating realistic electron hole properties from direct spacecraft observations into computing electron diffusion rates and lifetimes. The most important electron hole properties in this evaluation are their distributions in velocity and spatial scale and electric field root-mean-square intensity (). Using direct measurements of electron holes during a plasma injection event observed by the Van Allen Probe at , we find that when 4 mV/m electron lifetimes can drop below one hour and are mostly within strong diffusion limits at energies below 10 keV. During an injection observed by the THEMIS spacecraft at , electron holes with even typical intensities (1 mV/m) can deplete low-energy (a few keV) plasma sheet electrons within tens of minutes following injections and convection from the tail. Our results confirm that electron holes are a significant contributor to plasma sheet electron precipitation during injections.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 08/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JA029380
Effects of scattering of electrons from whistler chorus waves and of ions due to field line curvature on diffuse precipitating particle fluxes and ionospheric conductance during the large 17 March 2013 storm are examined using the self-consistent Rice Convection Model Equilibrium (RCM-E) model. Electrons are found to dominate the diffuse precipitating particle integrated energy flux, with large fluxes from ~21:00 magnetic local time (MLT) eastward to ~11:00 MLT during the storm main phase. Simulated proton and oxygen ion precipitation due to field line curvature scattering is sporadic and localized, occurring where model magnetic field lines are significantly stretched on the night side at equatorial geocentric radial distances r0 ≳8 RE and/or at r0 ~5.5 to 6.5 RE from dusk to midnight where the partial ring current field has perturbed the magnetic field. The precipitating protons likewise contribute sporadically to the storm time Hall and Pedersen conductance in localized regions whereas the precipitating electrons are the dominate storm time contributor to enhanced Hall and Pedersen conductance at auroral magnetic latitudes on the night and morning side. The RCM-E model can reproduce general features of the Van Allen Probe/MagEIS observed trapped electron differential flux spectrograms over energies of ~37 to 150 keV. The simulations with a parameterized electron loss model also reproduce reasonably well the storm time Defense Meteorological Satellite Program integrated electron energy flux at 850 km at satellite crossings from predawn to midmorning. However, model-data agreement is not as good from dusk to premidnight where there are large uncertainties in the electron loss model.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 05/2019
YEAR: 2019   DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026545
The precipitation of high-energy magnetospheric electrons (E \~ 600 eV\textendash10 KeV) in the diffuse aurora contributes significant energy flux into the Earth\textquoterights ionosphere. To fully understand the formation of this flux at the upper ionospheric boundary, \~700\textendash800 km, it is important to consider the coupled ionosphere-magnetosphere system. In the diffuse aurora, precipitating electrons initially injected from the plasma sheet via wave-particle interaction processes degrade in the atmosphere toward lower energies and produce secondary electrons via impact ionization of the neutral atmosphere. These precipitating electrons can be additionally reflected upward from the two conjugate ionospheres, leading to a series of multiple reflections through the magnetosphere. These reflections greatly influence the initially precipitating flux at the upper ionospheric boundary (700\textendash800 km) and the resultant population of secondary electrons and electrons cascading toward lower energies. In this paper, we present the solution of the Boltzman-Landau kinetic equation that uniformly describes the entire electron distribution function in the diffuse aurora, including the affiliated production of secondary electrons (E < 600 eV) and its energy interplay in the magnetosphere and two conjugated ionospheres. This solution takes into account, for the first time, the formation of the electron distribution function in the diffuse auroral region, beginning with the primary injection of plasma sheet electrons via both electrostatic electron cyclotron harmonic waves and whistler mode chorus waves to the loss cone, and including their subsequent multiple atmospheric reflections in the two magnetically conjugated ionospheres. It is demonstrated that magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling is key in forming the electron distribution function in the diffuse auroral region.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 11/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021728
It has been believed that whistler mode waves can cause relativistic electron precipitations. It has been also pointed out that pitch angle scattering of ~keV electrons by whistler mode waves results in diffuse auroras. Thus, it is natural to expect relativistic electron precipitations associated with diffuse auroras. Based on a conjugate observation between the SAMPEX spacecraft and the all-sky TV camera at Syowa Station, we report, for the first time, a case in which relativistic electron precipitations are associated with diffuse aurora. The SAMPEX observation shows that the precipitations of >1 MeV electrons are well accompanied with those of >150 and >400 keV electrons. This indicates that electrons in the energy range from several keV to >1 MeV precipitate into the atmosphere simultaneously. Our result supports the idea that whistler mode waves contribute to both generation of diffuse auroras and relativistic electron precipitations.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 06/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064564