Wave-Particle Interactions and Radiation Belt Precipitation Loss

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Lauren W Blum, LASP, Boulder, CO, United States, John W Bonnell, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States, Xinlin Li, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States and John R Wygant, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, United States
Wave-particle interactions play a critical role in radiation belt dynamics, providing a source of both acceleration and loss of energetic electrons in the inner magnetosphere. Here we investigate the contribution of electron precipitation to radiation belt losses, looking at not only how much loss is due to precipitation events, but what wave modes are responsible for this loss. This enables a better understanding of the contribution of individual loss mechanisms to the net response of the outer radiation belt. Through a combination of low altitude precipitation measurements and equatorial plasma and wave data, we investigate the nature and extent of MeV electron loss to the atmosphere. The role of cold plasma in mediating both the generation of electromagnetic waves as well as the interaction of these waves with MeV electrons is also investigated. These studies form a more cohesive picture of the relationship between electromagnetic waves, their source populations, and the interactions of these waves with relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt.