Enhanced radial transport and energization of radiation belt electrons due to drift orbit bifurcations Journal Article uri icon



  • Relativistic electron intensities in Earth's outer radiation belt can vary by multiple orders of magnitude on the time scales ranging from minutes to days. One fundamental process contributing to dynamic variability of radiation belt intensities is the radial transport of relativistic electrons across their drift shells. In this paper we analyze the properties of three‚Äźdimensional radial transport in a global magnetic field model driven by variations in the solar wind dynamic pressure. We use a test particle approach which captures anomalous effects such as drift orbit bifurcations. We show that the bifurcations lead to an order of magnitude increase in radial transport rates and enhance the energization at large equatorial pitch angles. Even at quiet time fluctuations in dynamic pressure, radial transport at large pitch angles exhibits strong deviations from the diffusion approximation. The radial transport rates are much lower at small pitch angle values which results in a better agreement with the diffusion approximation.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014

has restriction

  • hybrid

Date in CU Experts

  • June 16, 2021 1:03 AM

Full Author List

  • Ukhorskiy AY; Sitnov MI; Millan RM; Kress BT; Smith DC

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2169-9380

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2169-9402

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 163

end page

  • 170


  • 119


  • 1