On the Contribution of EMIC Waves to the Reconfiguration of the Relativistic Electron Butterfly Pitch Angle Distribution Shape on 2014 September 12-A Case Study

Academic Article


  • Abstract Following the arrival of two interplanetary coronal mass ejections on 2014 September 12, the Relativistic Electron–Proton Telescope instrument on board the twin Van Allen Probes observed a long-term dropout in the outer belt electron fluxes. The interplanetary shocks compressed the magnetopause, thereby enabling the loss of relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt to the magnetosheath region via the magnetopause shadowing. Previous studies have invoked enhanced radial transport associated with ultra-low-frequency waves activity and/or scattering into the atmosphere by whistler mode chorus waves to explain electron losses deep within the magnetosphere (L < 5.5). We show that energetic electron pitch angle distributions (PADs) provide strong evidence for precipitation also via interaction with electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves. High-resolution magnetic field observations on Van Allen Probe B confirm the sporadic presence of EMIC waves during the most intense dropout phase on September 12. Observational results suggest that magnetopause shadowing and EMIC waves together were responsible for reconfiguring the relativistic electron PADs into peculiar butterfly PAD shapes a few hours after an interplanetary shock arrived at Earth.
  • Authors

  • Medeiros, Claudia
  • Souza, VM
  • Vieira, LEA
  • Sibeck, DG
  • Halford, AJ
  • Kang, S-B
  • Da Silva, LA
  • Alves, LR
  • Marchezi, Jose
  • Dallaqua, RS
  • Jauer, PR
  • Rockenbach, M
  • Mendes, O
  • Alves, MV
  • Dal Lago, A
  • Fok, M-C
  • Kanekal, SG
  • Baker, DN
  • Kletzing, CA
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • February 10, 2019
  • Has Subject Area


  • Earth
  • acceleration of particles
  • planets and satellites: magnetic fields
  • scattering
  • waves
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 36
  • End Page

  • 36
  • Volume

  • 872
  • Issue

  • 1