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Statistical Comparison of Electron Loss and Enhancement in the Outer Radiation Belt During Storms

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  • S. D. Walton
  • C. Forsyth
  • I. J. Rae
  • N. P. Meredith
  • J. K. Sandhu
  • M.‐T. Walach
  • K. R. Murphy
Article numbere2021JA030069
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/05/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number5
Number of pages15
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date27/04/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Abstract: The near‐relativistic electron population in the outer Van Allen radiation belt is highly dynamic and strongly coupled to geomagnetic activity such as storms and substorms, which are driven by the interaction of the magnetosphere with the solar wind. The energy, content, and spatial extent of electrons in the outer radiation belt can vary on timescales of hours to days, dictated by the continuously evolving influence of acceleration and loss processes. While net changes in the electron population are directly observable, the relative influence of different processes is far from fully understood. Using a continuous 12 year data set from the Proton Electron Telescope on board the Solar Anomalous Magnetospheric Particle Explorer, we statistically compare the relative variations of trapped electrons to those in the bounce loss cone (BLC). Our results show that there is a proportional increase in flux entering the BLC outside the plasmapause during storm main phase and early recovery phase. Loss enhancement is sustained on the dawnside throughout the recovery phase while loss on the duskside is enhanced around minimum Sym‐H and quickly diminishes. Spatial variations are also examined in relation to geomagnetic activity, making comparisons to possible causal wave modes such as whistler‐mode chorus and plasmaspheric hiss.