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Title: Acceleration and loss of relativistic electrons during small geomagnetic storms

We report that past studies of radiation belt relativistic electrons have favored active storm time periods, while the effects of small geomagnetic storms (Dst >₋50 nT) have not been statistically characterized. In this timely study, given the current weak solar cycle, we identify 342 small storms from 1989 through 2000 and quantify the corresponding change in relativistic electron flux at geosynchronous orbit. Surprisingly, small storms can be equally as effective as large storms at enhancing and depleting fluxes. Slight differences exist, as small storms are 10% less likely to result in flux enhancement and 10% more likely to result in flux depletion than large storms. Nevertheless, it is clear that neither acceleration nor loss mechanisms scale with storm drivers as would be expected. Small geomagnetic storms play a significant role in radiation belt relativistic electron dynamics and provide opportunities to gain new insights into the complex balance of acceleration and loss processes.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Space Science and Applications; New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Grant/Contract Number:
NNX08AM58G; AC52-06NA25396
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 23; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; radiation belt dynamics; solar wind; geomagnetic storms; geosynchronous relativistic electron flux; heliospheric and magnetospheric physics
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1321769