Plain Language Summary
Many solar wind parameters correlate with one another, which complicates the causal-effect studies of solar wind driving of the magnetosphere. We use conditional mutual information, which is part of information theory, to untangle and isolate the effect of individual solar wind and magnetospheric drivers of the radiation belt electrons. For example, the solar wind density negatively correlates with electron phase space density (PSD) (average energy ∼1.6 MeV) with the response time lag of 15 hr. This has been attributed to the electron loss process such as magnetopause shadowing. The time lag suggests the time scale for this process is 15 hr. However, when the effect of solar wind velocity is removed, the time lag is 7–11 hr, which is a more accurate time scale for this process. As another example, the time lag of the correlation between solar wind velocity and PSD shifts from 30 to 50 to 44–56 hr, when the effect of solar wind density is removed. This suggests that the time scale for electron acceleration to 1–2 MeV is about 44–56 hr following the solar wind velocity enhancements. We also show that the effects of solar wind velocity and density have dependence on radial distance.
JGR Space Physics
Wing, Simon; Johnson, Jay R.; Turner, Drew L.; Ukhorskiy, Aleksandr Y.; and Boyd, Alexander J., "Untangling the Solar Wind and Magnetospheric Drivers of the Radiation Belt Electrons" (2022). Faculty Publications. 4234.
Open access article retrieved July 21, 2022 from https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2021JA030246