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Chorus-driven acceleration of radiation belt electrons in the unusual temporal/spatial regions

AuthorSu, Zhenpeng; Xiao, Fuliang; Zheng, Huinan; Zhu, Hui;
KeywordsAcceleration; Van Allen Belts; Van Allen Probes
AbstractCyclotron resonance with whistler-mode chorus waves is an important mechanism for the local acceleration of radiation belt energetic electrons. Such acceleration process has been widely investigated during the storm times, and its favored region is usually considered to be the low-density plasmatrough with magnetic local time (MLT) from midnight through dawn to noon. Here we present two case studies on the chorus-driven acceleration of radiation belt electrons in some \textquotedblleftunusual\textquotedblright temporal /spatial regions. (1) The first event recorded by the Van Allen Probes during the nonstorm times from 21 to 23 February 2013. Within two days, a new radiation belt centering around L=5.8 formed and gradually merged with the original outer belt. The corresponding relativistic electron fluxes increased by a factor of up to 50, accompanied by strong chorus waves. The quasi-linear STEERB model, including the local acceleration of detected chorus waves, can basically reproduce the observed 0.2\textendash5.0 MeV electron flux enhancement at the center of new belt. These results clearly illustrate the importance of chorus-driven local acceleration during the nonstorm times. (2) The second event observed by the Van Allen Probes in the duskside (MLT\~18) region on 2 October 2013. The quasi-linear diffusion analysis of STEERB code shows that, even in the duskside region with large ratio between the electron plasma frequency and the electron gyrofrequency, the detected intense (\~0.5 nT) chorus waves can still effectively accelerate radiation belt electrons. These results clearly exhibit the broader effective acceleration regions than usually estimated, at least for this one example.
Year of Publication2014
Number of Pages
Date Published08/2014