We present phase space density (PSD) observations using data from the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer instrument on the Van Allen Probes for the 17 March 2013 electron acceleration event. We confirm previous results and quantify how PSD gradients depend on the first adiabatic invariant. We find a systematic difference between the lower-energy electrons (1-MeV with a source region within the radiation belts. Our observations show that the source process begins with enhancements to the 10s-100s-keV energy seed population, followed by enhancements to the >1-MeV population and eventually leading to enhancements in the multi-MeV electron population these observations provide the clearest evidence to date of the timing and nature of the radial transport of a 100s keV electron seed population into the heart of the outer belt and subsequent local acceleration of those electrons to higher radiation belt energies. Key Points Quantification of phase space density gradients inside geostationary orbit Clear differences between the source of low energy and relativistic electrons Clear observations of how the acceleration process evolves in energy.
Geophysical Research Letters
American Geophysical Union Publications
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Boyd, A. J., H. E. Spence, S. G. Claudepierre, J. F. Fennell, J. B. Blake, D. N. Baker, G. D. Reeves, and D. L.Turner (2014), Quantifying the radiation belt seed population in the March 17, 2013 electron acceleration event, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 2275–2281, doi:10.1002/2014GL059626.
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