Three-dimensional stochastic modeling of radiation belts in adiabatic invariant coordinates

A 3-D model for solving the radiation belt diffusion equation in adiabatic invariant coordinates has been developed and tested. The model, named REM (for Radbelt Electron Model), obtains a probabilistic solution by solving a set of Itô stochastic differential equations that are mathematically equivalent to the diffusion equation. This method is capable of solving diffusion equations with a full 3-D diffusion tensor, including the radial-local cross diffusion components. The correct form of the boundary condition at equatorial pitch-angle α0 = 90° is also derived. The model is applied to a simulation of the October 2002 storm event. At α0 near 90°, our results are quantitatively consistent with GPS observations of phase-space density (PSD) increases, suggesting dominance of radial diffusion; at smaller α0, the observed PSD increases are overestimated by the model, possibly due to the α0-independent radial diffusion coefficients, or to insufficientelectron loss in the model, or both. Statistical analysis of the stochastic processes provides further insights into the diffusion processes, showing distinctive electron source distributions with and without local acceleration.


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Authors: Zheng, Liheng, Chan, Anthony A., Albert, Jay M., Elkington, Scot R., Koller, Josef, Horne, Richard B., Glauert, Sarah A., Meredith, Nigel P.

On this site: Nigel Meredith, Richard Horne, Sarah Glauert
29 September, 2014
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics / 119
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