Date of Award

Winter 1997

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Lynn Kistler


To advance our understanding of the magnetic storm dynamics of the outer radiation belt relativistic electrons, the magnetic storm which commenced on 9 October 1990 was analyzed in detail using data from the Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory geosynchronous satellite 1989enspace 046. Electron differential flux was transformed into phase space density as a function of the three adiabatic invariants. The invariants were determined by magnetic field data from CRRES and the Tsyganenko 1989 Kp driven model. The unique work of this thesis is the storm time radial diffusion modeling performed using time dependent radial diffusion coefficients (D$\sb{\rm LL}$) and a time dependent outer boundary condition. The results show that D$\sb{\rm LL}$(t), parameterized by Kp, can efficiently couple outer boundary condition variations (sources and sinks) to deep into the radiation belt interior, thus accounting for both significant flux decreases and increases throughout the region. It was found that an internal source is required to account for the gradual increase in the highest energy electrons throughout the recovery phase. A potential source mechanism is energy diffusion via wave particle interactions with whistler chorus waves which were observed by CRRES to be greatly enhanced throughout the recovery phase.