Energetic electron injections deep into the inner magnetosphere associated with substorm activity

D. L. Turner, S. G. Claudepierre, J. F. Fennell, T. P. O'Brien, J. B. Blake, C. Lemon, M. Gkioulidou, K. Takahashi, G. D. Reeves, S. Thaller, A. Breneman, J. R. Wygant, W. Li, A. Runov, V. Angelopoulos

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109 Scopus citations


From a survey of the first nightside season of NASA's Van Allen Probes mission (December 2012 to September 2013), 47 energetic (tens to hundreds of keV) electron injection events were found at L shells ≤ 4, all of which are deeper than any previously reported substorm-related injections. Preliminary details from these events are presented, including how all occurred shortly after dipolarization signatures and injections were observed at higher L shells, how the deepest observed injection was at L ∼ 2.5, and, surprisingly, how L ≤ 4 injections are limited in energy to ≤250 keV. We present a detailed case study of one example event revealing that the injection of electrons down to L ∼ 3.5 was different from injections observed at higher L and likely resulted from electrons interacting with a fast magnetosonic wave in the Pi2 frequency range inside the plasmasphere. These observations demonstrate that injections occur at very low L shells and may play an important role for inner zone electrons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2079-2087
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 16 2015

Bibliographical note

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©2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • Van Allen Probes
  • energetic particle injections
  • inner magnetosphere
  • radiation belts
  • substorms


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