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Title: Radiation belt electron acceleration during the 17 March 2015 geomagnetic storm: Observations and simulations

Abstract

Various physical processes are known to cause acceleration, loss, and transport of energetic electrons in the Earth's radiation belts, but their quantitative roles in different time and space need further investigation. During the largest storm over the past decade (17 March 2015), relativistic electrons experienced fairly rapid acceleration up to ~7 MeV within 2 days after an initial substantial dropout, as observed by Van Allen Probes. In the present paper, we evaluate the relative roles of various physical processes during the recovery phase of this large storm using a 3-D diffusion simulation. By quantitatively comparing the observed and simulated electron evolution, we found that chorus plays a critical role in accelerating electrons up to several MeV near the developing peak location and produces characteristic flat-top pitch angle distributions. By only including radial diffusion, the simulation underestimates the observed electron acceleration, while radial diffusion plays an important role in redistributing electrons and potentially accelerates them to even higher energies. Moreover, plasmaspheric hiss is found to provide efficient pitch angle scattering losses for hundreds of keV electrons, while its scattering effect on > 1 MeV electrons is relatively slow. Although an additional loss process is required to fully explain the overestimated electronmore » fluxes at multi-MeV, the combined physical processes of radial diffusion and pitch angle and energy diffusion by chorus and hiss reproduce the observed electron dynamics remarkably well, suggesting that quasi-linear diffusion theory is reasonable to evaluate radiation belt electron dynamics during this big storm.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5];  [6];  [6];  [6];  [7];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [11]
  1. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  2. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Inst. of Geophysics and Planetary Physics / Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences
  3. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Lab. for Atmospheric and Space Research
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  5. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States). Inst. for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
  6. Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  7. Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  8. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  9. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Inst. of Geophysics and Planetary Physics / Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences
  10. Space Hazard Applications, Golden, CO (United States)
  11. Southwest Research Inst. (SwRI), San Antonio, TX (United States). Space Science and Engineering Division; Univ. of Texas, San Antonio, TX (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1402604
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-20486
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9380; TRN: US1703003
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396; 967399; 921647; NAS5-01072; FA9550-15-1-0158; NNX15AI96G; NNX15AF61G; NNX11AR64G; NNX13AI61G; NNX14AI18G; AGS 1405054; 1564510
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 121; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9380
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 58 GEOSCIENCES; Heliospheric and Magnetospheric Physics; electron acceleration; chorus-driven local acceleration; radial diffusion

Citation Formats

Li, W., Ma, Q., Thorne, R. M., Bortnik, J., Zhang, X. -J., Li, J., Baker, D. N., Reeves, Geoffrey D., Spence, H. E., Kletzing, C. A., Kurth, W. S., Hospodarsky, G. B., Blake, J. B., Fennell, J. F., Kanekal, S. G., Angelopoulos, V., Green, J. C., and Goldstein, J. Radiation belt electron acceleration during the 17 March 2015 geomagnetic storm: Observations and simulations. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/2016JA022400.
Li, W., Ma, Q., Thorne, R. M., Bortnik, J., Zhang, X. -J., Li, J., Baker, D. N., Reeves, Geoffrey D., Spence, H. E., Kletzing, C. A., Kurth, W. S., Hospodarsky, G. B., Blake, J. B., Fennell, J. F., Kanekal, S. G., Angelopoulos, V., Green, J. C., & Goldstein, J. Radiation belt electron acceleration during the 17 March 2015 geomagnetic storm: Observations and simulations. United States. doi:10.1002/2016JA022400.
Li, W., Ma, Q., Thorne, R. M., Bortnik, J., Zhang, X. -J., Li, J., Baker, D. N., Reeves, Geoffrey D., Spence, H. E., Kletzing, C. A., Kurth, W. S., Hospodarsky, G. B., Blake, J. B., Fennell, J. F., Kanekal, S. G., Angelopoulos, V., Green, J. C., and Goldstein, J. Fri . "Radiation belt electron acceleration during the 17 March 2015 geomagnetic storm: Observations and simulations". United States. doi:10.1002/2016JA022400. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1402604.
@article{osti_1402604,
title = {Radiation belt electron acceleration during the 17 March 2015 geomagnetic storm: Observations and simulations},
author = {Li, W. and Ma, Q. and Thorne, R. M. and Bortnik, J. and Zhang, X. -J. and Li, J. and Baker, D. N. and Reeves, Geoffrey D. and Spence, H. E. and Kletzing, C. A. and Kurth, W. S. and Hospodarsky, G. B. and Blake, J. B. and Fennell, J. F. and Kanekal, S. G. and Angelopoulos, V. and Green, J. C. and Goldstein, J.},
abstractNote = {Various physical processes are known to cause acceleration, loss, and transport of energetic electrons in the Earth's radiation belts, but their quantitative roles in different time and space need further investigation. During the largest storm over the past decade (17 March 2015), relativistic electrons experienced fairly rapid acceleration up to ~7 MeV within 2 days after an initial substantial dropout, as observed by Van Allen Probes. In the present paper, we evaluate the relative roles of various physical processes during the recovery phase of this large storm using a 3-D diffusion simulation. By quantitatively comparing the observed and simulated electron evolution, we found that chorus plays a critical role in accelerating electrons up to several MeV near the developing peak location and produces characteristic flat-top pitch angle distributions. By only including radial diffusion, the simulation underestimates the observed electron acceleration, while radial diffusion plays an important role in redistributing electrons and potentially accelerates them to even higher energies. Moreover, plasmaspheric hiss is found to provide efficient pitch angle scattering losses for hundreds of keV electrons, while its scattering effect on > 1 MeV electrons is relatively slow. Although an additional loss process is required to fully explain the overestimated electron fluxes at multi-MeV, the combined physical processes of radial diffusion and pitch angle and energy diffusion by chorus and hiss reproduce the observed electron dynamics remarkably well, suggesting that quasi-linear diffusion theory is reasonable to evaluate radiation belt electron dynamics during this big storm.},
doi = {10.1002/2016JA022400},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 121,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {6}
}

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  • Li, Xinlin; Roth, I.; Temerin, M.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 20, Issue 22
  • DOI: 10.1029/93GL02701

Slot region electron loss timescales due to plasmaspheric hiss and lightning-generated whistlers: SLOT REGION ELECTRON LOSS TIMESCALES
journal, August 2007

  • Meredith, Nigel P.; Horne, Richard B.; Glauert, Sarah A.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 112, Issue A8
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007JA012413

Outer radiation belt boundary location relative to the magnetopause: Implications for magnetopause shadowing: BRIEF REPORT
journal, June 2011

  • Matsumura, C.; Miyoshi, Y.; Seki, K.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 116, Issue A6
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011JA016575

In situ signatures of residual plasmaspheric plumes: Observations and simulation
journal, June 2014

  • Goldstein, J.; Thomsen, M. F.; DeJong, A.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 119, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014JA019953

Relativistic model of ring current and radiation belt ions and electrons: Initial results: RADIATION BELT IONS AND ELECTRONS
journal, July 2005

  • Jordanova, V. K.; Miyoshi, Y.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 32, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005GL023020

Spatio-temporal structure of storm-time chorus
journal, January 2003


Observations and modeling of energetic electron dynamics during the October 2001 storm
journal, January 2006

  • Miyoshi, Y. S.; Jordanova, V. K.; Morioka, A.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 111, Issue A11
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005JA011351

Electron acceleration in the Van Allen radiation belts by fast magnetosonic waves
journal, January 2007

  • Horne, Richard B.; Thorne, Richard M.; Glauert, Sarah A.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 17
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007GL030267

Relativistic electron precipitation during magnetic storm main phase
journal, July 1971


Ring current ions and radiation belt electrons during geomagnetic storms driven by coronal mass ejections and corotating interaction regions
journal, January 2005

  • Miyoshi, Yoshizumi; Kataoka, Ryuho
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 32, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005GL024590

Evidence for injection of relativistic electrons into the Earth's outer radiation belt via intense substorm electric fields
journal, February 2014

  • Dai, Lei; Wygant, John R.; Cattell, Cynthia A.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 41, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059228

Dynamic evolution of energetic outer zone electrons due to wave-particle interactions during storms: EVOLUTION OF ENERGETIC ELECTRONS
journal, October 2007

  • Li, W.; Shprits, Y. Y.; Thorne, R. M.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 112, Issue A10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007JA012368

On the loss of relativistic electrons at geosynchronous altitude: Its dependence on magnetic configurations and external conditions: LOSS OF GEOSYNCHRONOUS MeV ELECTRONS
journal, January 2009

  • Ohtani, S.; Miyoshi, Y.; Singer, H. J.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 114, Issue A1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2008JA013391

Effects of discreteness of chorus waves on quasilinear diffusion-based modeling of energetic electron dynamics
journal, November 2014

  • Tao, Xin; Bortnik, Jacob; Albert, Jay M.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 119, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020022

Quantifying the radiation belt seed population in the 17 March 2013 electron acceleration event
journal, April 2014

  • Boyd, A. J.; Spence, H. E.; Claudepierre, S. G.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 41, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059626

Global distribution of wave amplitudes and wave normal angles of chorus waves using THEMIS wave observations: CHORUS WAVE DISTRIBUTION ON THEMIS
journal, December 2011

  • Li, W.; Bortnik, J.; Thorne, R. M.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 116, Issue A12
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011JA017035

Energetic outer zone electron loss timescales during low geomagnetic activity
journal, January 2006

  • Meredith, Nigel P.; Horne, Richard B.; Glauert, Sarah A.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 111, Issue A5
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005JA011516

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Monte Carlo simulations of the sensor head of imaging energetic electron spectrometer onboard a Chinese IGSO navigation satellite
    journal, October 2018

    • Zou, Hong; Ye, YuGuang; Zong, QiuGang
    • Science China Technological Sciences, Vol. 62, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.1007/s11431-017-9314-6

    Monte Carlo simulations of the sensor head of imaging energetic electron spectrometer onboard a Chinese IGSO navigation satellite
    journal, October 2018

    • Zou, Hong; Ye, YuGuang; Zong, QiuGang
    • Science China Technological Sciences, Vol. 62, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.1007/s11431-017-9314-6