Characteristics of four SPE groups with different origins and acceleration processes

R. S. Kim, K. S. Cho, J. Lee, S. C. Bong, A. D. Joshi, Y. D. Park

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5 Scopus citations


Solar proton events (SPEs) can be categorized into four groups based on their associations with flare or CME inferred from onset timings as well as acceleration patterns using multienergy observations. In this study, we have investigated whether there are any typical characteristics of associated events and acceleration sites in each group using 42 SPEs from 1997 to 2012. We find the following: (i) if the proton acceleration starts from a lower energy, a SPE has a higher chance to be a strong event (> 5000 particle flux per unit (pfu)) even if its associated flare and/or CME are not so strong. The only difference between the SPEs associated with flare and CME is the location of the acceleration site. (ii) For the former (Group A), the sites are very low (1 Rs) and close to the western limb, while the latter (Group C) have relatively higher (mean = 6.05 Rs) and wider acceleration sites. (iii) When the proton acceleration starts from the higher energy (Group B), a SPE tends to be a relatively weak event (< 1000 pfu), although its associated CME is relatively stronger than previous groups. (iv) The SPEs categorized by the simultaneous acceleration in whole energy range within 10 min (Group D) tend to show the weakest proton flux (mean = 327 pfu) in spite of strong associated eruptions. Based on those results, we suggest that the different characteristics of SPEs are mainly due to the different conditions of magnetic connectivity and particle density, which are changed with longitude and height as well as their origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7083-7093
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • proton acceleration mechanism
  • solar proton events
  • space weather forecast


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