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Understanding the dynamic evolution of the relativistic electron slot region including radial and pitch angle diffusion

Kim K., Y. Shprits, D. Subbotin, B. Ni, (2011), Understanding the dynamic evolution of the relativistic electron slot region including radial and pitch angle diffusion, J. of Geophys. Res. [Space Physics], 116, doi:10.1029/2011JA016684

Abstract

It has been suggested that the equilibrium structure of the slot region, which separates the inner and outer radiation belts, forms as the result of a balance between inward radial diffusion and pitch angle scattering of relativistic electrons by interactions with three types of whistler mode waves: plasmaspheric hiss, lightening-generated whistlers, and ground-based Very Low Frequency (VLF) transmitters. In this study, using the time-dependent 3D Versatile Electron Radiation Belt (VERB) code, we examine how effectively the slot can be formed by a combination of radial diffusion and pitch angle diffusion, together with Coulomb scattering, and compare the simulations with the CRRES MEA 1 MeV electron observations to examine the viability of the various scattering mechanisms. The results show that the overall time evolution of the observed two-zone structure is in a good agreement with our model simulations, which suggests a balance between inward radial diffusion due to Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) electromagnetic fluctuations and pitch angle scattering due to plasmaspheric hiss and lightning-generated whistlers. However, when inward radial diffusion due to the electrostatic fluctuations is included, agreement between the observed and simulated fluxes becomes weaker, suggesting that it is important to understand and quantify the radial diffusion rates in the slot region.

Authors (sorted by name)

Kim Ni Shprits Subbotin

Journal / Conference

Journal Of Geophysical Research (Space Physics)

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the USAF Young Investigator Research grant FA9550‐08‐1‐0140 and by NASA under grants NNX09AF51G and NNX10AK99G.

Grants

FA9550‐08‐1‐0140 NNX09AF51G NNX10AK99G

Bibtex

@article{doi:10.1029/2011JA016684,
author = {Kim, Kyung-Chan and Shprits, Yuri and Subbotin, Dmitriy and Ni, Binbin},
title = {Understanding the dynamic evolution of the relativistic electron slot region including radial and pitch angle diffusion},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics},
year = {2011},
volume = {116},
number = {A10},
pages = {},
keywords = {numerical modeling, radial transport and pitch angle scattering, relativistic electron slot region},
doi = {10.1029/2011JA016684},
url = {https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2011JA016684},
eprint = {https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1029/2011JA016684},
abstract = {It has been suggested that the equilibrium structure of the slot region, which separates the inner and outer radiation belts, forms as the result of a balance between inward radial diffusion and pitch angle scattering of relativistic electrons by interactions with three types of whistler mode waves: plasmaspheric hiss, lightening-generated whistlers, and ground-based Very Low Frequency (VLF) transmitters. In this study, using the time-dependent 3D Versatile Electron Radiation Belt (VERB) code, we examine how effectively the slot can be formed by a combination of radial diffusion and pitch angle diffusion, together with Coulomb scattering, and compare the simulations with the CRRES MEA 1 MeV electron observations to examine the viability of the various scattering mechanisms. The results show that the overall time evolution of the observed two-zone structure is in a good agreement with our model simulations, which suggests a balance between inward radial diffusion due to Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) electromagnetic fluctuations and pitch angle scattering due to plasmaspheric hiss and lightning-generated whistlers. However, when inward radial diffusion due to the electrostatic fluctuations is included, agreement between the observed and simulated fluxes becomes weaker, suggesting that it is important to understand and quantify the radial diffusion rates in the slot region.}
}