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Why Are Most Ground Level Events Associated with High Fe/O Ratios?

By Hilary V. Cane, Tycho T. von Rosenvinge and Ian G. Richardson

Abstract

In a seminal paper about Ground Level Events (GLEs), Dietrich and Lopate (1999) reported on 24 GLEs from April, 1973 to May, 1998. They noted that alt but one of these GLEs, June 15, 1991, were associated with a Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) event with an enhanced Fe/O ratio. The Fe/O ratio observed for the June 15, 1991 event was only 0.03, well below the nominal coronal abundance of Fe/O = 0.134. For the remaining events, Fe/O ranged from 0.27 to over 3, welt over the nominal coronal value. During Solar Cycle 23, 14 more GLEs were observed, only one of which had very low Fe/O. This was the event of January 20, 2005, the largest ground-level neutron monitor event in 49 years. We will report on our efforts to find out whether the events of June 15, 1991 and January 20, 2005 have features in common, besides high Fe/O, that distinguish them from all other GLE events and may help determine the cause of elevated Fe/O in almost all GLE events. We will use energetic particle, magnetic field, and solar wind plasma data from NASA's IMP-8 Wind, and ACE spacecraft

Topics: Solar Physics
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:casi.ntrs.nasa.gov:20100024966
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