The Role of Localized Inductive Electric Fields in Electron Injections Around Dipolarizing Flux Bundles
Tuesday, 15 December 2015: 11:44
2018 (Moscone West)
We study energetic electron injections using an analytical model that describes self-consistent electric and magnetic field perturbations of a transient, localized dipolarizing flux bundle (DFB). This simple model can reproduce most injection signatures at multiple locations simultaneously, reaffirming earlier findings that an earthward-traveling DFB can both transport and accelerate electrons to suprathermal energies, and can thus be considered as the primary driver of short-lived (~<10 min) injections. We find that energetic electron drift paths are greatly influenced by the sharp magnetic field gradients around the localized DFB. If the gradients are weak the energetic electrons initiating at reconnection will drift out of the flow channel such that the observed injection is comprised mostly of plasma sheet electrons. However, if the duskward magnetic field gradients on the DFB’s dawn flank are strong they can cause electrons to drift further earthward from the reconnection site than due to E x B alone. Similarly, strong dawnward magnetic field gradients on the DFB’s dusk flank can extract energetic electrons from the inner magnetosphere out to the plasma sheet, where they can either be recirculated earthward or remain at higher L-shells. Therefore, the source of electrons observed during injection depends sensitively on the spacecraft location relative to the DFB and on the DFB’s properties.