How whistler mode hiss waves and the plasmasphere drive the quiet decay of radiation belts electrons following a geomagnetic storm

J. F. Ripoll, M. Denton, V. Loridan, O. Santolík, D. Malaspina, D. P. Hartley, G. S. Cunningham, G. Reeves, S. Thaller, D. L. Turner, J. F. Fennell, A. Y. Drozdov, J. S. Cervantes Villa, Y. Y. Shprits, X. Chu, G. Hospodarsky, W. S. Kurth, C. A. Kletzing, J. Wygant, M. G. HendersonA. Y. Ukhorskiy

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We show how an extended period of quiet solar wind conditions contributes to a quiet state of the plasmasphere that expands up to L ∼ 5.5, which creates the perfect conditions for wave-particle interactions between the radiation belt electrons and whistler-mode hiss waves. The correlation between the hiss waves and the plasma density is direct with hiss wave power increasing with plasma density, while it was generally assumed that these quantities can be specified independently. Whistler-mode hiss waves pitch angle diffuse and ultimately scatter freshly injected electrons into the atmosphere until the slot region is formed between the inner and outer belt and the outer belt is drastically reduced. In this study, we use and combine Van Allen Probes observations and Fokker-Planck numerical simulations. The Fokker-Planck model uses consistent event-driven pitch angle diffusion coefficients from whistler-mode hiss waves. Observations and simulations allow us to reach a global understanding of the variations in the trapped electron population with time, space, energy, and pitch angle that is based on the existing theory of quasi-linear wave-particle interactions. We show, for instance, the outer belt is pitch-angle homogeneous, which is explained by the event-driven diffusion coefficients that are roughly constant for equatorial pitch angle α 0∼<60 , E>100 keV, 3.5<L<Lpp∼6. The impact of this work is to bring an improved understanding of the belt evolution based on the integration of high quality and highly temporally and spatially resolved measurements that are integrated in modern computations. We also propose the event-driven method as an accurate method (within 2) to predict the electron flux decay after storms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012005
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 24 2020
Event14th International Conference on Numerical Modeling of Space Plasma Flows, ASTRONUM 2019 - Paris, France
Duration: Jul 1 2019Jul 5 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.


Dive into the research topics of 'How whistler mode hiss waves and the plasmasphere drive the quiet decay of radiation belts electrons following a geomagnetic storm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this