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It has become well-established that strong outer radiation belt enhancements are due to wave-driven electron energization by whistler-mode chorus waves. However, in this study, we examine strong MeV electron injections on 10 July 2019 and find substantial evidence that such injections may be a crucial contributor to outer radiation belt enhancement events. For such an examination, it is essential to precisely separate temporal flux changes from spatial variations observed as Van Allen Probes move along their orbits. Employing a new “hourly snapshot” analysis approach, we discover unprecedented details of electron flux evolutions that suggest that for this event, the outer belt enhancement was not continuous but instead intermittent, mostly composed of 4 large discrete injection-driven flux increases. The injections appear as sharp flux increases when observed near apogee. Otherwise, by comparing hourly snapshots for different times, we infer injections and infer temporally stable fluxes between injections, despite strong and continuous chorus emission. The fast and intermittent electron flux growth successively extending earthwards implies cumulative outer belt enhancement via a series of repetitive inward transport associated with injection-induced electric fields.more » « lessFree, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
The very‐low frequency (VLF) and low frequency (LF) waves from ground transmitters propagate in the ionospheric waveguide, and a portion of their power leaks to the Earth's inner radiation belt and slot region where it can cause electron precipitation loss. Using Van Allen Probes observations, we perform a survey of the VLF and LF transmitter waves at frequencies from 14 to 200 kHz. The statistical electric and magnetic wave amplitudes and frequency spectra are obtained at 1 <
L< 3. Based on a recent study on the propagation of VLF transmitter waves, we divide the total wave power into ducted and unducted portions, and model the wave normal angle of unducted waves with dependences on Lshell, magnetic latitude, and wave frequency. At lower frequencies, the unducted waves are launched along the vertical direction and the wave normal angle increases during the propagation until reaching the Gendrin angle; at higher frequencies, the normal angle of unducted waves follows the variation of Gendrin angle. We calculate the bounce‐averaged pitch angle and momentum diffusion coefficients of electrons due to ducted and unducted VLF and LF waves. Unducted and ducted waves cause efficient pitch angle scattering at L= 1.5 and 2.5, respectively. Although the wave power from ground transmitters at frequencies higher than 30 kHz is low, these waves can cause the pitch angle scattering of lower energy (2–200 keV at L= 1.5) electrons, which cannot resonate with the VLF transmitter waves at frequencies below 30 kHz, lightning generated whistlers, or plasmaspheric hiss.