High-speed solar wind with southward interplanetary magnetic field causes relativistic electron flux enhancement of the outer radiation belt via enhanced condition of whistler waves

Y. Miyoshi, R. Kataoka, Y. Kasahara, A. Kumamoto, T. Nagai, M. F. Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Relativistic electron flux in the outer radiation belt tends to increase during the high-speed solar wind stream (HSS) events. However, HSS events do not always cause large flux enhancement. To determine the HSS events that cause such enhancement and the mechanisms that are responsible for accelerating the electrons, we analyzed long-term plasma data sets, for periods longer than one solar cycle. We demonstrate that during HSS events with the southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF)-dominant HSS (SBz-HSS), relativistic electrons are accelerated by whistler mode waves; however, during HSS events with the northward IMF-dominant HSS, this acceleration mechanism is not effective. The differences in the responses of the outer radiation belt flux variations are caused by the differences in the whistler mode wave-electron interactions associated with a series of substorms. During SBz-HSS events, hot electron injections occur and the thermal plasma density decreases due to the shrinkage of the plasmapause, causing large flux enhancement of relativistic electrons through whistler mode wave excitation. These results explain why large flux enhancement of relativistic electrons tends to occur during SBz-HSS events. Key Points A causal link between the solar wind and radiation belt flux enhancements Southward IMF causes the enhanced condition of whistler chorus Whistler chorus is a fundamental driver to cause the electron acceleration

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4520-4525
Number of pages6
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume40
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • radiation belts
  • wave particle interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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