Open Access

Effects of latitudinal distributions of particle density and wave power on cyclotron resonant diffusion rates of radiation belt electrons

Earth, Planets and Space200860:BF03352825

https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03352825

Received: 8 February 2008

Accepted: 26 March 2008

Published: 4 August 2008

Abstract

We evaluate cyclotron resonant interactions of radiation belt electrons with VLF chorus, plasmaspheric ELF hiss and electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves. We assume that the Earth’s magnetic field is dipolar and that each wave mode has a Gaussian spectral density. The dependence of the resonant electron diffusion rates on the latitudinal distributions of particle density and wave power is examined. We find that while the diffusion rates can be sensitive to the latitudinal distributions of density and wave power, in general the sensitivity depends on wave mode, equatorial pitch-angle, electron energy and L-shell. We determine the effects of the latitudinal distributions of density and wave power on the electron precipitation loss timescale due to combined scattering by VLF chorus, ELF hiss and EMIC waves. Accurate modeling of radiation belt electron dynamics requires observational data on the global distributions of particle number density and wave power.

Key words

Earth’s radiation beltwave-particle interactionsmagnetospheric plasma waveselectron precipitation