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Observational Validation of Cutoff Models as Boundaries of Solar Proton Event Impact Area
2020 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 125, no 7, article id e2020JA027935Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

High energy protons accelerated during solar proton events (SPEs) can access the Earth's middle atmosphere at high and middle latitudes causing large-scale ionization and chemical changes. In this study, we have compared the performance of two cutoff latitude models that predict the limit of the SPE impact area in the atmosphere during 73 SPEs from 1997 to 2010. We use observations from 13 riometer stations and the D Region Absorption Prediction (DRAP) model to test the performance of the two cutoff latitude models by Dmitriev et al. (2010, https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JA015380) and Nesse Tyss?y and Stadsnes (2015, https://doi.org/10.1002/2014JA020508). We find similar performance from the two cutoff latitude models with respect to observations, but the Dmitriev et al. (2010, https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JA015380) model performs slightly better when observations are contrasted with the DRAP model results. The better performing model is also continuous with magnetic local time and particle energy, making it more suited for future use in climate model proton forcing. SPE forcing is currently included in climate models with a single static cutoff latitude limit at 60° geomagnetic latitude. In reality, the area that the solar protons can access is not static but varies with particle rigidity and geomagnetic conditions. We estimate that the SPE impact area is overestimated 90% of the time by this single static cutoff limit and the average overestimation of the impact area is about 15?25% for protons with energies <32?MeV.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd , 2020. Vol. 125, no 7, article id e2020JA027935
Keywords [en]
solar proton event, cosmic noise absorption, geomagnetic cutoff, energetic particle precipitation, modeling and forecasting, polar cap ionosphere
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8632DOI: 10.1029/2020JA027935OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8632DiVA, id: diva2:1519407
Available from: 2021-01-18 Created: 2021-01-18 Last updated: 2021-01-18Bibliographically approved

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