Chorus acceleration of radiation belt relativistic electrons during March 2013 geomagnetic storm

Fuliang Xiao, Chang Yang, Zhaoguo He, Zhenpeng Su, Qinghua Zhou, Yihua He, C. A. Kletzing, W. S. Kurth, G. B. Hospodarsky, H. E. Spence, G. D. Reeves, H. O. Funsten, J. B. Blake, D. N. Baker, J. R. Wygant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


The recent launching of Van Allen probes provides an unprecedent opportunity to investigate variations of the radiation belt relativistic electrons. During the 17-19 March 2013 storm, the Van Allen probes simultaneously detected strong chorus waves and substantial increases in fluxes of relativistic (2 - 4.5 MeV) electrons around L = 4.5. Chorus waves occurred within the lower band 0.1-0.5fce (the electron equatorial gyrofrequency), with a peak spectral density ∼10-4 nT 2/Hz. Correspondingly, relativistic electron fluxes increased by a factor of 102-103 during the recovery phase compared to the main phase levels. By means of a Gaussian fit to the observed chorus spectra, the drift and bounce-averaged diffusion coefficients are calculated and then used to solve a 2-D Fokker-Planck diffusion equation. Numerical simulations demonstrate that the lower-band chorus waves indeed produce such huge enhancements in relativistic electron fluxes within 15 h, fitting well with the observation. Key Points Initial RBSP correlated data of chorus waves and relativistic electron fluxes A realistic simulation to examine effect of chorus on relativistic electron flux Chorus yields huge increases in electron flux rapidly, consistent with data

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3325-3332
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • RBSP results
  • chorus waves
  • relativistic electron acceleration
  • wave-particle interaction


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