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

Abstract

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

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [1];  [1];  [6];  [6];  [7];  [8]; ORCiD logo [9];  [10];  [11]
  1. Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Physics
  2. Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Physics; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  3. The Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Lab. for Atmospheric and Space Physics
  5. Univ. College London (UCL), Holmbury St. Mary (United Kingdom). Mullard Space Science Lab.
  6. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States). Inst. for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
  7. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Space and Atmospheric Sciences (NIS-1) Group
  8. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States). Space Weather Prediction Center
  9. National Observatory of Athens, Penteli (Greece). Inst. for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing
  10. National Observatory of Athens, Penteli (Greece). Inst. for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing; National and Kapodistrian Univ. of Athens (Greece). Dept. of Physics
  11. Lancaster Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Univ. College London (UCL), Holmbury St. Mary (United Kingdom); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (United Kingdom); Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) (United Kingdom); Canadian Space Agency (CSA); European Union (EU); European Commission (EC)
Contributing Org.:
The Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States); National Observatory of Athens, Penteli (Greece); National and Kapodistrian Univ. of Athens (Greece); Lancaster Univ. (United Kingdom)
OSTI Identifier:
1338757
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-20639
Journal ID: ISSN 1745-2473
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396; NAS5-01072; NAS5-02099; ST/L000563/1; NE/L007495/1; 284520
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1745-2473
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; heliospheric and magnetospheric physics; astrophysical plasmas

Citation Formats

Mann, I. R., Ozeke, L. G., Murphy, K. R., Claudepierre, S. G., Turner, D. L., Baker, D. N., Rae, I. J., Kale, A., Milling, D. K., Boyd, A. J., Spence, H. E., Reeves, Geoffrey D., Singer, H. J., Dimitrakoudis, S., Daglis, I. A., and Honary, F. Explaining the dynamics of the ultra-relativistic third Van Allen radiation belt. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1038/nphys3799.
Mann, I. R., Ozeke, L. G., Murphy, K. R., Claudepierre, S. G., Turner, D. L., Baker, D. N., Rae, I. J., Kale, A., Milling, D. K., Boyd, A. J., Spence, H. E., Reeves, Geoffrey D., Singer, H. J., Dimitrakoudis, S., Daglis, I. A., & Honary, F. Explaining the dynamics of the ultra-relativistic third Van Allen radiation belt. United States. doi:10.1038/nphys3799.
Mann, I. R., Ozeke, L. G., Murphy, K. R., Claudepierre, S. G., Turner, D. L., Baker, D. N., Rae, I. J., Kale, A., Milling, D. K., Boyd, A. J., Spence, H. E., Reeves, Geoffrey D., Singer, H. J., Dimitrakoudis, S., Daglis, I. A., and Honary, F. Mon . "Explaining the dynamics of the ultra-relativistic third Van Allen radiation belt". United States. doi:10.1038/nphys3799. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1338757.
@article{osti_1338757,
title = {Explaining the dynamics of the ultra-relativistic third Van Allen radiation belt},
author = {Mann, I. R. and Ozeke, L. G. and Murphy, K. R. and Claudepierre, S. G. and Turner, D. L. and Baker, D. N. and Rae, I. J. and Kale, A. and Milling, D. K. and Boyd, A. J. and Spence, H. E. and Reeves, Geoffrey D. and Singer, H. J. and Dimitrakoudis, S. and Daglis, I. A. and Honary, F.},
abstractNote = {Since the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts over 50 years ago, an explanation for their complete dynamics has remained elusive. Especially challenging is understanding the recently discovered ultra-relativistic third electron radiation belt. Current theory asserts that loss in the heart of the outer belt, essential to the formation of the third belt, must be controlled by high-frequency plasma wave–particle scattering into the atmosphere, via whistler mode chorus, plasmaspheric hiss, or electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves. However, this has failed to accurately reproduce the third belt. In this paper, using a data-driven, time-dependent specification of ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves we show for the first time how the third radiation belt is established as a simple, elegant consequence of storm-time extremely fast outward ULF wave transport. High-frequency wave–particle scattering loss into the atmosphere is not needed in this case. Finally, when rapid ULF wave transport coupled to a dynamic boundary is accurately specified, the sensitive dynamics controlling the enigmatic ultra-relativistic third radiation belt are naturally explained.},
doi = {10.1038/nphys3799},
journal = {Nature Physics},
issn = {1745-2473},
number = 10,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {6}
}

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