Evolution of ring current and radiation belt particles under the influence of storm-time electric fields

Y. Nishimura, A. Shinbori, T. Ono, M. Iizima, A. Kumamoto

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Electric field and potential distributions in the inner magnetosphere during geomagnetic storms have been investigated using the Akebono/EFD data. Using this electric field, we study injection of ring current particles and acceleration of radiation belt electrons by single-particle calculations. During the main phase, the dawn-dusk electric field is intensified especially in a range of 2 < L < 5 with a maximum amplitude of 6 mV/m on the duskside, and a two-cell convection pattern with a potential difference of 180 kV is identified. The convection pattern on the equatorial plane is significantly distorted with a large potential drop of 70 kV on the dawn and dusk sectors, indicating an intrinsic source of large-scale electric field in the inner magnetosphere. The plasma sheet ions are gathered into the dusk to premidnight sector in the inner magnetosphere in the region of enhanced electric field due to the strong E × B drift. The ions are transported into around 4 R E with an acceleration of more than 1 order of magnitude within 40 min, conserving the first adiabatic invariants. Relativistic electrons with initial energy of some hundreds of kiloelectron volts at 5 RE are energized to more than 100 keV for 3 hours. The energy spectrum during the recovery phase of 9 October 1990 geomagnetic storm observed by the CRRES satellite is reproduced without the radial diffusion or nonadiabatic acceleration by plasma waves. It is possible that this acceleration process is the inhomogeneity of the large-scale electric field, which corresponds to the ∇ × E term along orbits of electrons around the Earth.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA06241
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jun 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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