Pitch Angle Scattering and Loss of Radiation Belt Electrons in Broadband Electromagnetic Waves

C. C. Chaston, J. W. Bonnell, A. J. Halford, G. D. Reeves, D. N. Baker, C. A. Kletzing, J. R. Wygant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A magnetic conjunction between Van Allen Probes spacecraft and the Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) reveals the simultaneous occurrence of broadband Alfvénic fluctuations and multi-timescale modulation of enhanced atmospheric X-ray bremsstrahlung emission. The properties of the Alfvénic fluctuations are used to build a model for pitch angle scattering in the outer radiation belt on electron gyro-radii scale field structures. It is shown that this scattering may lead to the transport of electrons into the loss cone over an energy range from hundreds of keV to multi-MeV on diffusive timescales on the order of hours. This process may account for modulation of atmospheric X-ray fluxes observed from balloons and constitute a significant loss process for the radiation belts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9344-9352
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume45
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 28 2018

Keywords

  • Alfven waves
  • drift-bounce resonance
  • energetic particles
  • geomagnetic storms
  • pitch angle scattering
  • radiation belts

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    Chaston, C. C., Bonnell, J. W., Halford, A. J., Reeves, G. D., Baker, D. N., Kletzing, C. A., & Wygant, J. R. (2018). Pitch Angle Scattering and Loss of Radiation Belt Electrons in Broadband Electromagnetic Waves. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(18), 9344-9352. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL079527