We investigate two abnormal CME-Storm pairs that occurred on 2014 September 10 - 12 and 2015 March 15 - 17, respectively. The first one was a moderate geomagnetic storm (Dstmin ~ -75 nT) driven by the X1.6 high speed flare-associated CME (1267 km s−1) in AR 12158 (N14E02) near solar disk center. The other was a very intense geomagnetic storm (Dstmin ~ -223 nT) caused by a CME with moderate speed (719 km s−1) and associated with a filament eruption accompanied by a weak flare (C9.1) in AR 12297 (S17W38). Both CMEs have large direction parameters facing the Earth and southward magnetic field orientation in their solar source region. In this study, we inspect the structure of Interplanetary Flux Ropes (IFRs) at the Earth estimated by using the torus fitting technique assuming self-similar expansion. As results, we find that the moderate storm on 2014 September 12 was caused by small-scale southward magnetic fields in the sheath region ahead of the IFR. The Earth traversed the portion of the IFR where only the northward fields are observed. Meanwhile, in case of the 2015 March 17 storm, our IFR analysis revealed that the Earth passed the very portion where only the southward magnetic fields are observed throughout the passage. The resultant southward magnetic field with long- duration is the main cause of the intense storm. We suggest that 3D magnetic field geometry of an IFR at the IFR-Earth encounter is important and the strength of a geomagnetic storm is strongly affected by the relative location of the Earth with respect to the IFR structure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- 3D structure of interplanetary flux ropes
- Forecast of geomagnetic storms
- Impact of interplanetary coronal mass ejections on the Earth