skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: What Causes Radiation Belt Enhancements: A Survey of the Van Allen Probes Era

Abstract

We survey radiation belt enhancement events during the Van Allen Probes era to determine what mechanism is the dominant cause of enhancements and where it is most effective. Two primary mechanisms have been proposed: (1) betatron/Fermi acceleration due to the Earthward radial transport of electrons, which produces monotonic gradients in phase space density (PSD), and (2) “local acceleration” due to gyro/Landau resonant interaction with electromagnetic waves, which produces radially localized growing peaks in PSD. Here, to differentiate between these processes, we examine radial profiles of PSD in adiabatic coordinates using data from the Van Allen Probes and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms satellites for 80 outer belt enhancement events from October 2012 to April 2017. Here, this study shows that local acceleration is the dominant acceleration mechanism for MeV electrons in the outer belt, with 87% of the enhancement events exhibiting growing peaks. The strong correlation of the location of these with geomagnetic activity further supports this conclusion.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA (United States)
  3. New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  4. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States). Inst. for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space
  5. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Lab. for Atmospheric and Space Sciences
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1485390
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-25084
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Heliospheric and Magnetospheric Physics; Radiation Belt; Phase Space Density; Local Acceleration; Van Allen Probes; THEMIS

Citation Formats

Boyd, A. J., Turner, D. L., Reeves, G. D., Spence, H. E., Baker, D. N., and Blake, J. B. What Causes Radiation Belt Enhancements: A Survey of the Van Allen Probes Era. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018GL077699.
Boyd, A. J., Turner, D. L., Reeves, G. D., Spence, H. E., Baker, D. N., & Blake, J. B. What Causes Radiation Belt Enhancements: A Survey of the Van Allen Probes Era. United States. doi:10.1029/2018GL077699.
Boyd, A. J., Turner, D. L., Reeves, G. D., Spence, H. E., Baker, D. N., and Blake, J. B. Tue . "What Causes Radiation Belt Enhancements: A Survey of the Van Allen Probes Era". United States. doi:10.1029/2018GL077699. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1485390.
@article{osti_1485390,
title = {What Causes Radiation Belt Enhancements: A Survey of the Van Allen Probes Era},
author = {Boyd, A. J. and Turner, D. L. and Reeves, G. D. and Spence, H. E. and Baker, D. N. and Blake, J. B.},
abstractNote = {We survey radiation belt enhancement events during the Van Allen Probes era to determine what mechanism is the dominant cause of enhancements and where it is most effective. Two primary mechanisms have been proposed: (1) betatron/Fermi acceleration due to the Earthward radial transport of electrons, which produces monotonic gradients in phase space density (PSD), and (2) “local acceleration” due to gyro/Landau resonant interaction with electromagnetic waves, which produces radially localized growing peaks in PSD. Here, to differentiate between these processes, we examine radial profiles of PSD in adiabatic coordinates using data from the Van Allen Probes and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms satellites for 80 outer belt enhancement events from October 2012 to April 2017. Here, this study shows that local acceleration is the dominant acceleration mechanism for MeV electrons in the outer belt, with 87% of the enhancement events exhibiting growing peaks. The strong correlation of the location of these with geomagnetic activity further supports this conclusion.},
doi = {10.1029/2018GL077699},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 11,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 12 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Examples of three types of events observed by the Van Allen Probes. Panel (a) shows an event 21 December 2015 with a growing peak at L = 3.8, Panel (b) shows an event from 01 December 2015 with flat gradients near apogee, and Panel (c) shows an eventmore » from 08 December 2013 that has positive gradients. All panels are for 𝜇 = 700 MeV/G and K = 0.08REG1∕2. Inbound passes are marked with downward triangle, outbound passes with upward triangle. RBSP = Radiation Belt Storm Probes.« less

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

The THEMIS Mission
journal, April 2008


Relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt: Differentiating between acceleration mechanisms
journal, January 2004


Phase space density analysis of the outer radiation belt energetic electron dynamics
journal, January 2006

  • Iles, Roger H. A.; Meredith, Nigel P.; Fazakerley, Andrew N.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 111, Issue A3
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005JA011206

Modeling the dynamics of the inner magnetosphere during strong geomagnetic storms
journal, January 2005


Predicting the L-position of the storm-injected relativistic electron belt
journal, January 2003


What is a geomagnetic storm?
journal, January 1994

  • Gonzalez, W. D.; Joselyn, J. A.; Kamide, Y.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 99, Issue A4
  • DOI: 10.1029/93JA02867

Empirical plasmapause models from magnetic indices: EMPIRICAL PLASMAPAUSE MODELS
journal, February 2003

  • O'Brien, T. P.; Moldwin, M. B.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 30, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2002GL016007

A nonstorm time enhancement of relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt: NONSTORM RELATIVISTIC E− ENHANCEMENT
journal, January 2014

  • Schiller, Quintin; Li, Xinlin; Blum, Lauren
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 41, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058485

Phase Space Density matching of relativistic electrons using the Van Allen Probes: REPT results
journal, September 2013

  • Morley, S. K.; Henderson, M. G.; Reeves, G. D.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 40, Issue 18
  • DOI: 10.1002/grl.50909

Radial distributions of equatorial phase space density for outer radiation belt electrons: OUTER BELT ELECTRON PSD DISTRIBUTIONS
journal, May 2012

  • Turner, D. L.; Angelopoulos, V.; Shprits, Y.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 39, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1029/2012GL051722

Explaining sudden losses of outer radiation belt electrons during geomagnetic storms
journal, January 2012

  • Turner, Drew L.; Shprits, Yuri; Hartinger, Michael
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 8, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys2185

On the source location of radiation belt relativistic electrons
journal, February 2000

  • Selesnick, R. S.; Blake, J. B.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 105, Issue A2
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999JA900445

Rapid local acceleration of relativistic radiation-belt electrons by magnetospheric chorus
journal, December 2013


Impact of toroidal ULF waves on the outer radiation belt electrons
journal, January 2005


Statistical analysis of phase space density buildups and dropouts: BRIEF REPORT
journal, January 2012

  • Shprits, Yuri; Daae, Marianne; Ni, Binbin
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 117, Issue A1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011JA016939

The energization of relativistic electrons in the outer Van Allen radiation belt
journal, July 2007

  • Chen, Yue; Reeves, Geoffrey D.; Friedel, Reiner H. W.
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 3, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys655

Wave acceleration of electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts
journal, September 2005

  • Horne, Richard B.; Thorne, Richard M.; Shprits, Yuri Y.
  • Nature, Vol. 437, Issue 7056
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature03939

Potential waves for relativistic electron scattering and stochastic acceleration during magnetic storms
journal, August 1998

  • Horne, Richard B.; Thorne, Richard M.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 25, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.1029/98GL01002

Electron Acceleration in the Heart of the Van Allen Radiation Belts
journal, July 2013


Relativistic theory of wave-particle resonant diffusion with application to electron acceleration in the magnetosphere
journal, September 1998

  • Summers, Danny; Thorne, Richard M.; Xiao, Fuliang
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 103, Issue A9
  • DOI: 10.1029/98JA01740

Substorm injection of relativistic electrons to geosynchronous orbit during the great magnetic storm of March 24, 1991
journal, November 2001

  • Ingraham, J. C.; Cayton, T. E.; Belian, R. D.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 106, Issue A11
  • DOI: 10.1029/2000JA000458

Acceleration and loss of relativistic electrons during geomagnetic storms: ACCELERATION AND LOSS OF RELATIVISTIC ELECTRONS
journal, May 2003

  • Reeves, G. D.; McAdams, K. L.; Friedel, R. H. W.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 30, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2002GL016513

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

The Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) Instruments Aboard the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) Spacecraft
journal, June 2013

  • Blake, J. B.; Carranza, P. A.; Claudepierre, S. G.
  • Space Science Reviews, Vol. 179, Issue 1-4
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11214-013-9991-8

Statistical properties of the radiation belt seed population: STATISTICAL SEED POPULATION
journal, August 2016

  • Boyd, A. J.; Spence, H. E.; Huang, C. -L.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 121, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022652

Radiation belt electron acceleration by chorus waves during the 17 March 2013 storm: ELECTRON ACCELERATION BY CHORUS WAVES
journal, June 2014

  • Li, W.; Thorne, R. M.; Ma, Q.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 119, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014JA019945

On the Effect of Geomagnetic Storms on Relativistic Electrons in the Outer Radiation Belt: Van Allen Probes Observations: EFFECT OF STORMS ON THE RADIATION BELTS
journal, November 2017

  • Moya, Pablo S.; Pinto, Víctor A.; Sibeck, David G.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 122, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024735

On the storm-time evolution of relativistic electron phase space density in Earth's outer radiation belt: STORM-TIME EVOLUTION OF THE OUTER BELT
journal, May 2013

  • Turner, D. L.; Angelopoulos, V.; Li, W.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 118, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1002/jgra.50151

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Ultralow Frequency Waves as an Intermediary for Solar Wind Energy Input Into the Radiation Belts
    journal, November 2018

    • Georgiou, M.; Daglis, I. A.; Rae, I. J.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018ja025355

    Ultralow Frequency Waves as an Intermediary for Solar Wind Energy Input Into the Radiation Belts
    journal, November 2018

    • Georgiou, M.; Daglis, I. A.; Rae, I. J.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018ja025355

    Earth's Van Allen Radiation Belts: From Discovery to the Van Allen Probes Era
    journal, November 2019

    • Li, W.; Hudson, M. K.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 124, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018ja025940

    On the Initial Enhancement of Energetic Electrons and the Innermost Plasmapause Locations: Coronal Mass Ejection‐Driven Storm Periods
    journal, November 2018

    • Khoo, Leng Ying; Li, Xinlin; Zhao, Hong
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 123, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018ja026074

    Outer Van Allen Radiation Belt Response to Interacting Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections
    journal, March 2019

    • Kilpua, E. K. J.; Turner, D. L.; Jaynes, A. N.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 124, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018ja026238

    The March 2015 Superstorm Revisited: Phase Space Density Profiles and Fast ULF Wave Diffusive Transport
    journal, February 2019

    • Ozeke, L. G.; Mann, I. R.; Claudepierre, S. G.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 124, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018ja026326

    Time Scales for Electron Quasi‐linear Diffusion by Lower‐Band Chorus Waves: The Effects of ω pe / Ω ce Dependence on Geomagnetic Activity
    journal, June 2019

    • Agapitov, O.; Mourenas, D.; Artemyev, A.
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1029/2019gl083446

    On the Importance of Gradients in the Low‐Energy Electron Phase Space Density for Relativistic Electron Acceleration
    journal, April 2019

    • Allison, Hayley J.; Horne, Richard B.; Glauert, Sarah A.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
    • DOI: 10.1029/2019ja026516

    Impact of Significant Time‐Integrated Geomagnetic Activity on 2‐MeV Electron Flux
    journal, June 2019

    • Mourenas, D.; Artemyev, A. V.; Zhang, X. ‐J.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 124, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.1029/2019ja026659

    Highly Relativistic Electron Flux Enhancement During the Weak Geomagnetic Storm of April–May 2017
    journal, June 2019

    • Katsavrias, Ch.; Sandberg, I.; Li, W.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 124, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.1029/2019ja026743

    How Sudden, Intense Energetic Electron Enhancements Correlate With the Innermost Plasmapause Locations Under Various Solar Wind Drivers and Geomagnetic Conditions
    journal, November 2019

    • Khoo, L. ‐Y.; Li, X.; Zhao, H.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 124, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1029/2019ja027412

    From solar sneezing to killer electrons: outer radiation belt response to solar eruptions
    journal, May 2019

    • Daglis, Ioannis A.; Katsavrias, Christos; Georgiou, Marina
    • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 377, Issue 2148
    • DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2018.0097

      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.