Nonstorm time dropout of radiation belt electron fluxes on 24 September 2013

Zhenpeng Su, Zhonglei Gao, Hui Zhu, Wen Li, Huinan Zheng, Yuming Wang, Shui Wang, H. E. Spence, G. D. Reeves, D. N. Baker, J. B. Blake, H. O. Funsten, J. R. Wygant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Radiation belt electron flux dropouts during the main phase of geomagnetic storms have received increasing attention in recent years. Here we focus on a rarely reported nonstorm time dropout event observed by Van Allen Probes on 24 September 2013. Within several hours, the radiation belt electron fluxes exhibited a significant (up to 2 orders of magnitude) depletion over a wide range of radial distances (L > 4.5), energies (∼500 keV to several MeV) and equatorial pitch angles (0°≤αe≤180°). STEERB simulations show that the relativistic electron loss in the region L = 4.5–6.0 was primarily caused by the pitch angle scattering of observed plasmaspheric hiss and electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves. Our results emphasize the complexity of radiation belt dynamics and the importance of wave-driven precipitation loss even during nonstorm times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6400-6416
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • EMIC
  • numerical modeling
  • plasmaspheric hiss
  • precipitation loss
  • radiation belt dropout
  • wave-particle interaction

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