Open Access

Main-phase creation of “seed” electrons in the outer radiation belt

Earth, Planets and Space201452:BF03351612

DOI: 10.1186/BF03351612

Received: 11 May 1999

Accepted: 25 November 1999

Published: 20 June 2014

Abstract

During a geomagnetic storm in early November 1993, NOAA satellite observations revealed that a population of energetic electrons appeared in the center of the outer radiation belt during the main phase of the storm. At the beginning of the main phase of the magnetic storm, the number of electrons with energies from 30 keV to 100 keV increased rapidly and contributed to build up of the ring current. At the end of the main phase the flux of electrons with energies greater than 300 keV increased significantly. Akebono satellite observations showed that the flux of electrons with energies ranging from 300 keV to 950 keV increased late of the storm main phase and that the flux of electrons with energies from 950 keV to 2.5 MeV increased during the storm recovery phase. The electron flux increase observed by both NOAA and Akebono took place first in the central part of the outer radiation belt (L~4) and propagated to higher L shells with a significant time delay. We think that the ring current electrons that appeared first and near L~4 during the main phase seeded the subsequent increase in the flux of MeV electrons in the entire outer radiation belt.