Quantifying the Size and Duration of a Microburst-Producing Chorus Region on 5 December 2017

S. S. Elliott, A. W. Breneman, C. Colpitts, J. M. Pettit, C. A. Cattell, A. J. Halford, M. Shumko, J. Sample, A. T. Johnson, Y. Miyoshi, Y. Kasahara, C. M. Cully, S. Nakamura, T. Mitani, T. Hori, I. Shinohara, K. Shiokawa, S. Matsuda, M. Connors, M. OzakiJ. Manninen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Microbursts are impulsive (<1 s) injections of electrons into the atmosphere, thought to be caused by nonlinear scattering by chorus waves. Although attempts have been made to quantify their contribution to outer belt electron loss, the uncertainty in the overall size and duration of the microburst region is typically large, so that their contribution to outer belt loss is uncertain. We combine datasets that measure chorus waves (Van Allen Probes [RBSP], Arase, ground-based VLF stations) and microburst (>30 keV) precipitation (FIREBIRD II and AC6 CubeSats, POES) to determine the size of the microburst-producing chorus source region beginning on 5 December 2017. We estimate that the long-lasting (∼30 hr) microburst-producing chorus region extends from 4 to 8 (Formula presented.) MLT and 2–5 (Formula presented.) L. We conclude that microbursts likely represent a major loss source of outer radiation belt electrons for this event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022GL099655
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 16 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Work at the University of Minnesota and NASA Goddard was supported by the NASA Heliophysics Supporting Research program NNH18ZDA001N‐HSR award 80NSSC19K0842. The authors would like to acknowledge Jeremy Faden and the use of Autoplot. The authors would like to thank George Hospodarsky for providing EMFISIS wave normal angle data. JMP acknowledge funding from the NSF Coupling, Energetics and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions, grant AGS 1651428 and the NASA Living With a Star program, grant NNX14AH54G.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Authors.


  • chorus waves
  • electron precipitation
  • microburst precipitation
  • radiation belt
  • wave-particle interactions

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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