• 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 23 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 23


Global Survey of Electron Precipitation due to Hiss Waves in the Earth s Plasmasphere and Plumes

Abstract We present a global survey of energetic electron precipitation from the equatorial magnetosphere due to hiss waves in the plasmasphere and plumes. Using Van Allen Probes measurements, we calculate the pitch angle diffusion coefficients at the bounce loss cone, and evaluate the energy spectrum of precipitating electron flux. Our ∼6.5-year survey shows that, during disturbed times, hiss inside the plasmasphere primarily causes the electron precipitation at L > 4 over 8 h < MLT < 18 h, and hiss waves in plumes cause the precipitation at L > 5 over 8 h < MLT < 14 h and L > 4 over 14 h < MLT < 20 h. The precipitating energy flux increases with increasing geomagnetic activity, and is typically higher in the plasmaspheric plume than the plasmasphere. The characteristic energy of precipitation increases from ∼20 keV at L = 6 to ∼100 keV at L = 3, potentially causing the loss of electrons at several hundred keV.

Ma, Q.; Li, W.; Zhang, X.-J.; Bortnik, J.; Shen, X.-C.; Connor, H.; Boyd, A.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Claudepierre, S.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 07/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

electron precipitation; hiss wave; plasmasphere; plasmaspheric plume; Precipitating Energy Flux; Van Allen Probes Survey; Van Allen Probes

Estimating the Impacts of Radiation Belt Electrons on Atmospheric Chemistry using FIREBIRD II and Van Allen Probes Observations

Abstract This study considers the impact of electron precipitation from Earth s radiation belts on atmospheric composition using observations from the NASA Van Allen Probes and NSF Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range, and Dynamics (FIREBIRD II) CubeSats. Ratios of electron flux between the Van Allen Probes (in near-equatorial orbit in the radiation belts) and FIREBIRD II (in polar low Earth orbit) during spacecraft conjunctions (2015-2017) allow an estimate of precipitation into the atmosphere. Total Radiation Belt Electron Content, calculated from Van Allen Probes RBSP-ECT MagEIS data, identifies a sustained 10-day electron loss event in March 2013 that serves as an initial case study. Atmospheric ionization profiles, calculated by integrating monoenergetic ionization rates across the precipitating electron flux spectrum, provide input to the NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model in order to quantify enhancements of atmospheric HOx and NOx and subsequent destruction of O3 in the middle atmosphere. Results suggest that current APEEP parameterizations of radiation belt electrons used in Coupled Model Intercomparison Project may underestimate the duration of events as well as higher energy electron contributions to atmospheric ionization and modeled NOx concentrations in the mesosphere and upper stratosphere.

Duderstadt, K.; Huang, C.-L.; Spence, H.; Smith, S.; Blake, J.; Crew, A.; Johnson, A.; Klumpar, D.; Marsh, D.; Sample, J.; Shumko, M.; Vitt, F.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres      Published on: 03/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

electron precipitation; Radiation belts; ozone; Atmospheric Ionization; Van Allen Probes; FIREBIRD

Energetic Electron Precipitation Observed by FIREBIRD-II Potentially Driven by EMIC Waves: Location, Extent, and Energy Range from a Multi-Event Analysis

Abstract We evaluate the location, extent and energy range of electron precipitation driven by ElectroMagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves using coordinated multi-satellite observations from near-equatorial and Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) missions. Electron precipitation was analyzed using the Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range and Dynamics (FIREBIRD-II) CubeSats, in conjunction either with typical EMIC-driven precipitation signatures observed by Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES) or with in situ EMIC wave observations from Van Allen Probes. The multi-event analysis shows that electron precipitation occurred in a broad region near dusk (16–23 MLT), mostly confined to 3.5–7.5 L- shells. Each precipitation event occurred on localized radial scales, on average ∼0.3 L. Most importantly, FIREBIRD-II recorded electron precipitation from ∼200–300 keV to the expected ∼MeV energies for most cases, suggesting that EMIC waves can efficiently scatter a wide energy range of electrons.

Capannolo, L.; Li, W.; Spence, H.; Johnson, A.; Shumko, M.; Sample, J.; Klumpar, D.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 02/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

electron precipitation; EMIC waves; inner magnetosphere; electron losses; proton precipitation; wave-particle interactions; Van Allen Probes

Multi-Point Observations of Quasiperiodic Emission Intensification and Effects on Energetic Electron Precipitation

AbstractThe two Van Allen Probes simultaneously recorded a coherently modulated quasiperiodic (QP) emission that persisted for 3 hours. The magnetic field pulsation at the locations of the two satellites showed a substantial difference, and their frequencies were close to but did not exactly match the repetition frequency of QP emissions for most of the time, suggesting that those coherent QP emissions probably originated from a common source, which then propagated over a broad area in the magnetosphere. The QP emissions were amplified by local anisotropic electron distributions, and their large-scale amplitudes were modulated by the plasma density. A novel observation of this event is that chorus waves at frequencies above QP emissions exhibit a strong correlation with QP emissions. Those chorus waves intensified when the QP emissions reach their peak frequency. This indicates that embryonic QP emissions may be critical for its own intensification as well as chorus waves under certain circumstances. The low-earth-orbit POES satellite observed enhanced energetic electron precipitation in conjunction with the Van Allen Probes, providing direct evidence that QP emissions precipitate energetic electrons into the atmosphere. This scenario is quantitatively confirmed by our quasilinear diffusion simulation results.

Li, Jinxing; Bortnik, Jacob; Ma, Qianli; Li, Wen; Shen, Xiaochen; Nishimura, Yukitoshi; An, Xin; Thaller, Scott; Breneman, Aaron; Wygant, John; Kurth, William; Hospodarsky, George; Hartley, David; Reeves, Geoffrey; Funsten, Herbert; Blake, Bernard; Spence, Harlan; Baker, Daniel;

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

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

quasiperiodic emissions; electron precipitation; Radiation belt; chorus waves; Van Allen Probes; ULF wave


Properties of Lightning Generated Whistlers Based on Van Allen Probes Observations and Their Global Effects on Radiation Belt Electron Loss

Lightning generated whistlers (LGWs) play an important role in precipitating energetic electrons in the Earth s inner radiation belt and beyond. Wave burst data from the Van Allen Probes are used to unambiguously identify LGWs and analyze their properties at L < 4 by extending their frequencies down to ~100 Hz for the first time. The statistical results show that LGWs typically occur at frequencies from 100 Hz to 10 kHz with the major wave power below the equatorial lower hybrid resonance frequency, and their wave amplitudes are typically strong at L < 3 with an occurrence rate up to ~30\% on the nightside. The lifetime calculation indicates that LGWs play an important role in scattering electrons from tens of keV to several MeV at L < ~2.5. Our newly constructed LGW models are critical for evaluating the global effects of LGWs on energetic electron loss at L < 4.

Green, A.; Li, W.; Ma, Q.; Shen, X.-C.; Bortnik, J.; Hospodarsky, G.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

lightning generated whistlers; electron precipitation; Inner radiation belt; hiss; VLF transmitter waves; global distribution; Van Allen Probes

Global Survey of Plasma Sheet Electron Precipitation due to Whistler Mode Chorus Waves in Earth s Magnetosphere

Whistler mode chorus waves can scatter plasma sheet electrons into the loss cone and produce the Earth s diffuse aurora. Van Allen Probes observed plasma sheet electron injections and intense chorus waves on 24 November 2012. We use quasilinear theory to calculate the precipitating electron fluxes, demonstrating that the chorus waves could lead to high differential energy fluxes of precipitating electrons with characteristic energies of 10–30 keV. Using this method, we calculate the precipitating electron flux from 2012 to 2019 when the Van Allen Probes were near the magnetic equator and perform global surveys of electron precipitation under different geomagnetic conditions. The most significant electron precipitation due to chorus is found from the nightside to dawn sectors over 4 < L < 6.5. The average total precipitating energy flux is enhanced during disturbed conditions, with time-averaged values reaching ~3–10 erg/cm2/s when AE ≥ 500 nT.

Ma, Q.; Connor, H.; Zhang, X.-J.; Li, W.; Shen, X.-C.; Gillespie, D.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Claudepierre, S.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.;

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

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

Chorus wave; electron precipitation; plasma sheet electron; Van Allen Probes observation; Van Allen Probes

A Multi-Instrument Approach to Determining the Source-Region Extent of EEP-Driving EMIC Waves

Abstract Recent years have seen debate regarding the ability of electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves to drive EEP (energetic electron precipitation) into the Earth s atmosphere. Questions still remain regarding the energies and rates at which these waves are able to interact with electrons. Many studies have attempted to characterize these interactions using simulations; however, these are limited by a lack of precise information regarding the spatial scale size of EMIC activity regions. In this study we examine a fortuitous simultaneous observation of EMIC wave activity by the RBSP-B and Arase satellites in conjunction with ground-based observations of EEP by a subionospheric VLF network. We describe a simple method for determining the longitudinal extent of the EMIC source region based on these observations, calculating a width of 0.75 hr MLT and a drift rate of 0.67 MLT/hr. We describe how this may be applied to other similar EMIC wave events.

Hendry, A.; Santolik, O.; Miyoshi, Y.; Matsuoka, A.; Rodger, C.; Clilverd, M.; Kletzing, C.; Shoji, M.; Shinohara, I.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 03/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI: 10.1029/2019GL086599

EMIC waves; electron precipitation; subionospheric VLF; Van Allen Probes; AARDDVARK; Arase


Direct Observation of Subrelativistic Electron Precipitation Potentially Driven by EMIC Waves

Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are known to typically cause electron losses into Earth\textquoterights upper atmosphere at >~1 MeV, while the minimum energy of electrons subject to efficient EMIC-driven precipitation loss is unresolved. This letter reports electron precipitation from subrelativistic energies of ~250 keV up to ~1 MeV observed by the Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range and Dynamics (FIREBIRD-II) CubeSats, while two Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) observed proton precipitation nearby. Van Allen Probe A detected EMIC waves (~0.7\textendash2.0 nT) over the similar L shell extent of electron precipitation observed by FIREBIRD-II, albeit with a ~1.6 magnetic local time (MLT) difference. Although plasmaspheric hiss and magnetosonic waves were also observed, quasi-linear calculations indicate that EMIC waves were the most efficient in driving the electron precipitation. Quasi-linear theory predicts efficient precipitation at >0.8\textendash1 MeV (due to H-band EMIC waves), suggesting that other mechanisms are required to explain the observed subrelativistic electron precipitation.

Capannolo, L.; Li, W.; Ma, Q.; Chen, L.; Shen, X.-C.; Spence, H.; Sample, J.; Johnson, A.; Shumko, M.; Klumpar, D.; Redmon, R.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 11/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019GL084202

electron precipitation; EMIC waves; FIREBIRD-II; quasi linear theory; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes; wave particle interactions

Quantification of Energetic Electron Precipitation Driven by Plume Whistler Mode Waves, Plasmaspheric Hiss, and Exohiss

Whistler mode waves are important for precipitating energetic electrons into Earth\textquoterights upper atmosphere, while the quantitative effect of each type of whistler mode wave on electron precipitation is not well understood. In this letter, we evaluate energetic electron precipitation driven by three types of whistler mode waves: plume whistler mode waves, plasmaspheric hiss, and exohiss observed outside the plasmapause. By quantitatively analyzing three conjunction events between Van Allen Probes and POES/MetOp satellites, together with quasi-linear calculation, we found that plume whistler mode waves are most effective in pitch angle scattering loss, particularly for the electrons from tens to hundreds of keV. Our new finding provides the first direct evidence of effective pitch angle scattering driven by plume whistler mode waves and is critical for understanding energetic electron loss process in the inner magnetosphere. We suggest the effect of plume whistler mode waves be accurately incorporated into future radiation belt modeling.

Li, W.; Shen, X.-C.; Ma, Q.; Capannolo, L.; Shi, R.; Redmon, R.; Rodriguez, J.; Reeves, G.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 03/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019GL082095

electron precipitation; hiss; plasmaspheric plume; Plume wave; Van Allen Probes; whistler mode wave


Impact of Background Magnetic Field for EMIC Wave-Driven Electron Precipitation

Wave-particle interaction between relativistic electrons and electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves is a highly debated loss process contributing to the dynamics of Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. Theoretical studies show that EMIC waves can result in strong loss of relativistic electrons in the radiation belts (Summers \& Thorne, 2003, However, many of these studies have not been validated by observations. Li et al. (2014, modeled the relativistic electron precipitation observed by Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) in a single-event case study based on a quasi-linear diffusion model and observations by Van Allen Probes and GOES 13. We expand upon that study to investigate the localization of the precipitation region and the effectiveness of EMIC waves as an electron loss mechanism.The model results of BARREL 1I observations on 17 January 2013 show that as the BARREL balloon drifts in local time to regions that map to lower equatorial magnetic field strength, the flux of precipitating electrons increases and peaks at lower energy. The hypothesis that the energy of the precipitating electrons is controlled by background magnetic field strength is further tested by considering observations from balloon campaigns conducted from 2000 to 2014, including BARREL. Consistent with theory for wave-particle interaction between relativistic electrons and EMIC waves, we find observationally that stronger equatorial magnetic field strength generally correlates with more energetic electron precipitation and further conclude that magnetic field strength can drive the localization and distribution of precipitating electrons.

Woodger, L.; Millan, R.; Li, Z.; Sample, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 10/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025315

electron precipitation; EMIC waves; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes


Mesospheric ozone destruction by high-energy electron precipitation associated with pulsating aurora

Energetic particle precipitation into the upper atmosphere creates excess amounts of odd nitrogen and odd hydrogen. These destroy mesospheric and upper stratospheric ozone in catalytic reaction chains, either in situ at the altitude of the energy deposition or indirectly due to transport to other altitudes and latitudes. Recent statistical analysis of satellite data on mesospheric ozone reveals that the variations during energetic electron precipitation from Earth\textquoterights radiation belts can be tens of percent. Here we report model calculations of ozone destruction due to a single event of pulsating aurora early in the morning on 17 November 2012. The presence of high-energy component in the precipitating electron flux (>200 keV) was detected as ionization down to 68 km altitude, by the VHF incoherent scatter radar of European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) Scientific Association (EISCAT VHF) in Troms\o, Norway. Observations by the Van Allen Probes satellite B showed the occurrence of rising tone lower band chorus waves, which cause the precipitation. We model the effect of high-energy electron precipitation on ozone concentration using a detailed coupled ion and neutral chemistry model. Due to a 30 min, recorded electron precipitation event we find 14\% odd oxygen depletion at 75 km altitude. The uncertainty of the higher-energy electron fluxes leads to different possible energy deposition estimates during the pulsating aurora event. We find depletion of odd oxygen by several tens of percent, depending on the precipitation characteristics used in modeling. The effect is notably maximized at the sunset time following the occurrence of the precipitation.

Turunen, Esa; Kero, Antti; Verronen, Pekka; Miyoshi, Yoshizumi; Oyama, Shin-Ichiro; Saito, Shinji;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres      Published on: 10/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JD025015

EISCAT; electron precipitation; ion chemistry; mesosphere; ozone; pulsating aurora; Van Allen Probes

A new ionospheric electron precipitation module coupled with RAM-SCB within the geospace general circulation model

Electron precipitation down to the atmosphere due to wave-particle scattering in the magnetosphere contributes significantly to the auroral ionospheric conductivity. In order to obtain the auroral conductivity in global MHD models that are incapable of capturing kinetic physics in the magnetosphere, MHD parameters are often used to estimate electron precipitation flux for the conductivity calculation. Such an MHD approach, however, lacks self-consistency in representing the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling processes. In this study we improve the coupling processes in global models with a more physical method. We calculate the physics-based electron precipitation from the ring current and map it to the ionospheric altitude for solving the ionospheric electrodynamics. In particular, we use the BATS-R-US (Block Adaptive Tree Scheme-Roe type-Upstream) MHD model coupled with the kinetic ring current model RAM-SCB (Ring current-Atmosphere interaction Model with Self-Consistent Magnetic field (B)) that solves pitch angle-dependent electron distribution functions, to study the global circulation dynamics during the 25\textendash26 January 2013 storm event. Since the electron precipitation loss is mostly governed by wave-particle resonant scattering in the magnetosphere, we further investigate two loss methods of specifying electron precipitation loss associated with wave-particle interactions: (1) using pitch angle diffusion coefficients Dαα(E,α) determined from the quasi-linear theory, with wave spectral and plasma density obtained from statistical observations (named as \textquotedblleftdiffusion coefficient method\textquotedblright) and (2) using electron lifetimes τ(E) independent on pitch angles inferred from the above diffusion coefficients (named as \textquotedblleftlifetime method\textquotedblright). We found that both loss methods demonstrate similar temporal evolution of the trapped ring current electrons, indicating that the impact of using different kinds of loss rates is small on the trapped electron population. However, for the precipitated electrons, the lifetime method hardly captures any precipitation in the large L shell (i.e., 4 < L < 6.5) region, while the diffusion coefficient method produces much better agreement with NOAA/POES measurements, including the spatial distribution and temporal evolution of electron precipitation in the region from the premidnight through the dawn to the dayside. Further comparisons of the precipitation energy flux to DMSP observations indicates that the new physics-based precipitation approach using diffusion coefficients for the ring current electron loss can explain the diffuse electron precipitation in the dawn sector, such as the enhanced precipitation flux at auroral latitudes and flux drop near the subauroral latitudes, but the traditional MHD approach largely overestimates the precipitation flux at lower latitudes.

Yu, Yiqun; Jordanova, Vania; Ridley, Aaron; Albert, Jay; Horne, Richard; Jeffery, Christopher;

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

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022585

Diffusion Coefficient; electron lifetime; electron precipitation; ionospheric conductivity; MI coupling; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions

Direct evidence for EMIC wave scattering of relativistic electrons in space

Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves have been proposed to cause efficient losses of highly relativistic (>1 MeV) electrons via gyroresonant interactions. Simultaneous observations of EMIC waves and equatorial electron pitch angle distributions, which can be used to directly quantify the EMIC wave scattering effect, are still very limited, however. In the present study, we evaluate the effect of EMIC waves on pitch angle scattering of ultrarelativistic (>1 MeV) electrons during the main phase of a geomagnetic storm, when intense EMIC wave activity was observed in situ (in the plasma plume region with high plasma density) on both Van Allen Probes. EMIC waves captured by Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) probes and on the ground across the Canadian Array for Real-time Investigations of Magnetic Activity (CARISMA) are also used to infer their magnetic local time (MLT) coverage. From the observed EMIC wave spectra and local plasma parameters, we compute wave diffusion rates and model the evolution of electron pitch angle distributions. By comparing model results with local observations of pitch angle distributions, we show direct, quantitative evidence of EMIC wave-driven relativistic electron losses in the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt.

Zhang, X.-J.; Li, W.; Ma, Q.; Thorne, R.; Angelopoulos, V.; Bortnik, J.; Chen, L.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Baker, D.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 07/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022521

electron precipitation; EMIC waves; equatorial pitch angle distribution; Fokker-Planck equation; relativistic electron loss; Van Allen Probes; Wave-particle interaction

BARREL observations of a Solar Energetic Electron and Solar Energetic Proton event

During the second Balloon Array for Radiation Belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) campaign two solar energetic proton (SEP) events were observed. Although BARREL was designed to observe X-rays created during electron precipitation events, it is sensitive to X-rays from other sources. The gamma lines produced when energetic protons hit the upper atmosphere are used in this paper to study SEP events. During the second SEP event starting on 7 January 2014 and lasting \~ 3 days, which also had a solar energetic electron (SEE) event occurring simultaneously, BARREL had 6 payloads afloat spanning all MLT sectors and L-values. Three payloads were in a tight array (\~ 2 hrs in MLT and \~ 2 Δ L) inside the inner magnetosphere and at times conjugate in both L and MLT with the Van Allen Probes (approximately once per day). The other three payloads mapped to higher L-values with one payload on open field lines for the entire event while the other two appear to be crossing from open to closed field lines. Using the observations of the SEE and SEP events, we are able to map the open-closed boundary. Halford et al. [2015] demonstrated how BARREL can monitor electron precipitation following an ICME-shock impact at Earth while in this study we look at the SEP event precursor to the arrival of the ICME-Shock in our cradle-to-grave view: from flare, to SEE and SEP events, to radiation belt electron precipitation.

Halford, A.; McGregor, S.; Hudson, M.; Millan, R.; Kress, B.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022462

BARREL; electron precipitation; proton precipitation; Solar Energetic Electrons; Solar Energetic Protons; Solar storm; Van Allen Probes


Extreme ionospheric ion energization and electron heating in Alfv\ en waves in the storm-time inner magnetosphere

We report measurements of energized outflowing/bouncing ionospheric ions and heated electrons in the inner magnetosphere during a geomagnetic storm. The ions arrive in the equatorial plane with pitch angles that increase with energy over a range from tens of eV to > 50 keV while the electrons are field-aligned up to ~1 keV. These particle distributions are observed during intervals of broadband low frequency electromagnetic field fluctuations consistent with a Doppler-shifted spectrum of kinetic Alfv\ en waves and kinetic field-line resonances. The fluctuations extend from L≈3 out to the apogee of the Van Allen Probes spacecraft at L≈6.5. They thereby span most of the L-shell range occupied by the ring current. These measurements suggest a model for ionospheric ion outflow and energization driven by dispersive Alfv\ en waves that may account for the large storm-time contribution of ionospheric ions to magnetospheric energy density.

Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Wygant, J.; Kletzing, C.; Reeves, G.; Gerrard, A.; Lanzerotti, L.; Smith, C.;

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

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066674

Alfven waves; electron precipitation; Geomagnetic storms; ion acceleration; ion outflow; ion upflo

Observations of coincident EMIC wave activity and duskside energetic electron precipitation on 18-19 January 2013

Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves have been suggested to be a cause of radiation belt electron loss to the atmosphere. Here simultaneous, magnetically conjugate measurements are presented of EMIC wave activity, measured at geosynchronous orbit and on the ground, and energetic electron precipitation, seen by the Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) campaign, on two consecutive days in January 2013. Multiple bursts of precipitation were observed on the duskside of the magnetosphere at the end of 18 January and again late on 19 January, concurrent with particle injections, substorm activity, and enhanced magnetospheric convection. The structure, timing, and spatial extent of the waves are compared to those of the precipitation during both days to determine when and where EMIC waves cause radiation belt electron precipitation. The conjugate measurements presented here provide observational support of the theoretical picture of duskside interaction of EMIC waves and MeV electrons leading to radiation belt loss.

Blum, L.; Halford, A.; Millan, R.; Bonnell, J.; Goldstein, J.; Usanova, M.; Engebretson, M.; Ohnsted, M.; Reeves, G.; Singer, H.; Clilverd, M.; Li, X.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 07/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065245

electron precipitation; EMIC waves; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes

A Summary of the BARREL Campaigns: Technique for studying electron precipitation

The Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) studies the loss of energetic electrons from Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. BARREL\textquoterights array of slowly drifting balloon payloads was designed to capitalize on magnetic conjunctions with NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes. Two campaigns were conducted from Antarctica in 2013 and 2014. During the first campaign in January and February of 2013, there were three moderate geomagnetic storms with Sym-Hmin < -40 nT. Similarly, two minor geomagnetic storms occurred during the second campaign, starting in December of 2013 and continuing on into February of 2014. Throughout the two campaigns, BARREL observed electron precipitation over a wide range of energies and exhibiting temporal structure from 100\textquoterights of milliseconds to hours. Relativistic electron precipitation was observed in the dusk to midnight sector, and microburst precipitation was primarily observed near dawn. In this paper we review the two BARREL science campaigns and discuss the data products and analysis techniques as applied to relativistic electron precipitation observed on 19 January 2013.

Woodger, L.; Halford, A.; Millan, R.; McCarthy, M.; Smith, D.; Bowers, G.; Sample, J.; Anderson, B.; Liang, X.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020874

electron precipitation; event timing; gamma ray burst; multi-point observation; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes; x-ray spectroscopy

Electron precipitation from EMIC waves: a case study from 31 May 2013

On 31 May 2013 several rising-tone electromagnetic ion-cyclotron (EMIC) waves with intervals of pulsations of diminishing periods (IPDP) were observed in the magnetic local time afternoon and evening sectors during the onset of a moderate/large geomagnetic storm. The waves were sequentially observed in Finland, Antarctica, and western Canada. Co-incident electron precipitation by a network of ground-based Antarctic Arctic Radiation-belt Dynamic Deposition VLF Atmospheric Research Konsortia (AARDDVARK) and riometer instruments, as well as the Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) electron telescopes, was also observed. At the same time POES detected 30-80 keV proton precipitation drifting westwards at locations that were consistent with the ground-based observations, indicating substorm injection. Through detailed modelling of the combination of ground and satellite observations the characteristics of the EMIC-induced electron precipitation were identified as: latitudinal width of 2-3\textdegree or ΔL=1 Re, longitudinal width ~50\textdegree or 3 hours MLT, lower cut off energy 280 keV, typical flux 1\texttimes104 el. cm-2 sr-1 s-1 >300 keV. The lower cutoff energy of the most clearly defined EMIC rising tone in this study confirms the identification of a class of EMIC-induced precipitation events with unexpectedly low energy cutoffs of <400 keV.

Clilverd, Mark; Duthie, Roger; Hardman, Rachael; Hendry, Aaron; Rodger, Craig; Raita, Tero; Engebretson, Mark; Lessard, Marc; Danskin, Donald; Milling, David;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021090

electromagnetic ion-cyclotron; electron precipitation; radio propagation; satellite

Long-term determination of energetic electron precipitation into the atmosphere from AARDDVARK subionospheric VLF observations

We analyze observations of subionospherically propagating very low frequency (VLF) radio waves to determine outer radiation belt energetic electron precipitation (EEP) flux magnitudes. The radio wave receiver in Sodankylä, Finland (Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory) observes signals from the transmitter with call sign NAA (Cutler, Maine). The receiver is part of the Antarctic-Arctic Radiation-belt Dynamic Deposition VLF Atmospheric Research Konsortia (AARDDVARK). We use a near-continuous data set spanning November 2004 until December 2013 to determine the long time period EEP variations. We determine quiet day curves over the entire period and use these to identify propagation disturbances caused by EEP. Long Wave Propagation Code radio wave propagation modeling is used to estimate the precipitating electron flux magnitudes from the observed amplitude disturbances, allowing for solar cycle changes in the ambient D region and dynamic variations in the EEP energy spectra. Our method performs well during the summer months when the daylit ionosphere is most stable but fails during the winter. From the summer observations, we have obtained 693 days worth of hourly EEP flux magnitudes over the 2004\textendash2013 period. These AARDDVARK-based fluxes agree well with independent satellite precipitation measurements during high-intensity events. However, our method of EEP detection is 10\textendash50 times more sensitive to low flux levels than the satellite measurements. Our EEP variations also show good agreement with the variation in lower band chorus wave powers, providing some confidence that chorus is the primary driver for the outer belt precipitation we are monitoring.

Neal, Jason; Rodger, Craig; Clilverd, Mark; Thomson, Neil; Raita, Tero; Ulich, Thomas;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020689

AARDDVARK network; electron precipitation; Radiation belts; subionospheric VLF propagation


Characterization of the energy-dependent response of riometer absorption

Ground based riometers provide an inexpensive means to continuously remote sense the precipitation of electrons in the dynamic auroral region of Earth\textquoterights ionosphere. The energy-dependent relationship between riometer absorption and precipitating electrons is thus of great importance for understanding the loss of electrons from the Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere. In this study, statistical and event-based analyses are applied to determine the energy of electrons to which riometers chiefly respond. Time-lagged correlation analysis of trapped to precipitating fluxes shows that daily averaged absorption best correlates with ~ 60 keV trapped electron flux at zero-time lag, although large variability is observed across different phases of the solar cycle. High-time resolution statistical cross-correlation analysis between signatures observed by riometer stations, and assuming electron motion due to gradient and curvature drift, results in inferred energies of 10-100 keV, with a clear maximum in occurrence for 40-60 keV electrons. One event is considered in detail utilizing riometer absorption signatures obtained from several stations. The mean inferred energies for the initial rise time and peak of the absorption after correction for electric field effects were ~70 keV, and ~60 keV, respectively. The analyses presented provide a means to characterize the energy of electrons to which riometers are responding in both a statistical sense, and during the evolution of individual events.

Kellerman, A.; Shprits, Y; Makarevich, R.; Spanswick, E.; Donovan, E.; Reeves, G.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 11/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020027

cosmic noise absorption; electron energy; particle modeling; Radiation belts; riometer; electron precipitation

Evidence of stronger pitch angle scattering loss caused by oblique whistler-mode waves as compared with quasi-parallel waves

Wave normal distributions of lower-band whistler-mode waves observed outside the plasmapause exhibit two peaks; one near the parallel direction and the other at very oblique angles. We analyze a number of conjunction events between the Van Allen Probes near the equatorial plane and POES satellites at conjugate low altitudes, where lower-band whistler-mode wave amplitudes were inferred from the two-directional POES electron measurements over 30\textendash100 keV, assuming that these waves were quasi-parallel. For conjunction events, the wave amplitudes inferred from the POES electron measurements were found to be overestimated as compared with the Van Allen Probes measurements primarily for oblique waves and quasi-parallel waves with small wave amplitudes (< ~20 pT) measured at low latitudes. This provides plausible experimental evidence of stronger pitch-angle scattering loss caused by oblique waves than by quasi-parallel waves with the same magnetic wave amplitudes, as predicted by numerical calculations.

Li, W.; Mourenas, D.; Artemyev, A.; Agapitov, O.; Bortnik, J.; Albert, J.; Thorne, R.; Ni, B.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061260

chorus waves; electron precipitation; oblique whistler; pitch angle scattering

A novel technique to construct the global distribution of whistler mode chorus wave intensity using low-altitude POES electron data

Although magnetospheric chorus plays a significant role in the acceleration and loss of radiation belt electrons, its global evolution during any specific time period cannot be directly obtained by spacecraft measurements. Using the low-altitude NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) electron data, we develop a novel physics-based methodology to infer the chorus wave intensity and construct its global distribution with a time resolution of less than an hour. We describe in detail how to apply the technique to satellite data by performing two representative analyses, i.e., (i) for one specific time point to visualize the estimation procedure and (ii) for a particular time period to validate the method and construct an illustrative global chorus wave model. We demonstrate that the spatiotemporal evolution of chorus intensity in the equatorial magnetosphere can be reasonably estimated from electron flux measurements made by multiple low-altitude POES satellites with a broad coverage of L shell and magnetic local time. Such a data-based, dynamic model of chorus waves can provide near-real-time wave information on a global scale for any time period where POES electron data are available. A combination of the chorus wave spatiotemporal distribution acquired using this methodology and the direct spaceborne wave measurements can be used to evaluate the quantitative scattering caused by resonant wave-particle interactions and thus model radiation belt electron variability.

Ni, Binbin; Li, Wen; Thorne, Richard; Bortnik, Jacob; Green, Janet; Kletzing, Craig; Kurth, William; Hospodarsky, George; Pich, Maria;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 07/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.710.1002/2014JA019935

electron precipitation; global wave distribution; magnetospheric chorus; physics-based technique; wave resonant scattering


Comparison between POES energetic electron precipitation observations and riometer absorptions: Implications for determining true precipitation fluxes

Energetic electron precipitation (EEP) impacts the chemistry of the middle atmosphere with growing evidence of coupling to surface temperatures at high latitudes. To better understand this link, it is essential to have realistic observations to properly characterize precipitation and which can be incorporated into chemistry-climate models. The Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) detectors measure precipitating particles but only integral fluxes and only in a fraction of the bounce loss cone. Ground-based riometers respond to precipitation from the whole bounce loss cone; they measure the cosmic radio noise absorption (CNA), a qualitative proxy with scant direct information on the energy flux of EEP. POES observations should have a direct relationship with ΔCNA and comparing the two will clarify their utility in studies of atmospheric change. We determined ionospheric changes produced by the EEP measured by the POES spacecraft in ~250 overpasses of an imaging riometer in northern Finland. The ΔCNA modeled from the POES data is 10\textendash15 times less than the observed ΔCNA when the >30 keV flux is reported as <106 cm-2 s-1 sr-1. Above this level, there is relatively good agreement between the space-based and ground-based measurements. The discrepancy occurs mostly during periods of low geomagnetic activity, and we contend that weak diffusion is dominating the pitch angle scattering into the bounce loss cone at these times. A correction to the calculation using measurements of the trapped flux considerably reduces the discrepancy and provides further support to our hypothesis that weak diffusion leads to underestimates of the EEP.

Rodger, Craig; Kavanagh, Andrew; Clilverd, Mark; Marple, Steve;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 12/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019439

electron precipitation; POES; Radiation belts; riometery