Vol 20, No 3

Sun-Earth connection event of super geomagnetic storm on 2001 March 31: the importance of solar wind density

Li-Bin Cheng, Gui-Ming Le, Ming-Xian Zhao


Abstract An X1.7 flare at 10:15 UT and a halo CME with a projected speed of 942 km s−1 erupted from NOAA solar active region 9393 located at N20W19, which were observed on 2001 March 29. When the CME reached the Earth, it triggered a super geomagnetic storm (hereafter super storm). We find that the CME always moved towards the Earth according to the intensity-time profiles of protons with different energies. The solar wind parameters responsible for the main phase of the super storm occurred on 2001 March 31 are analyzed while taking into account the delayed geomagnetic effect of solar wind at the L1 point and using the SYM-H index. According to the variation properties of SYM-H index during the main phase of the super storm, the main phase of the super storm is divided into two parts. A comparative study of solar wind parameters responsible for two parts shows the evidence that the solar wind density plays a significant role in transferring solar wind energy into the magnetosphere, besides the southward magnetic field and solar wind speed.


Keywords Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) — Sun: solar-terrestrial relations — Sun: solar wind

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