Time Evolution of Elemental Ratios in Solar Energetic Particle events

Zelina, Peter, Dalla, Silvia orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7837-5780, Cohen, CMS and Mewaldt, RA (2017) Time Evolution of Elemental Ratios in Solar Energetic Particle events. Astrophysical Journal, 835 (71). ISSN 0004-637X

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Official URL: https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.00758


Heavy ion ratio abundances in Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events, e.g. Fe/O, often exhibit decreases over time. Using particle instruments on the ACE, SOHO and STEREO spacecraft, we analysed heavy ion data from 4 SEP events taking place between December 2006 and December 2014. We constructed 36 different ionic pairs and studied their time evolution in each event. We quantified the temporal behaviour of abundant SEP ratios by fitting the data to derive a decay time constant B. We also considered the ratio of ionic mass–to–charge for each pair, the S value
given e.g. for Fe/O by SFe/O = (M/Q)Fe/(M/Q)O. We found that the temporal behaviour of
SEP ratios is ordered by the value of S: ratios with S > 1 showed decreases over time (i.e. B < 0) and those with S < 1 showed increases (B > 0). We plotted B as a function of S and observed a clear monotonic dependence: ratios with a large S decayed at a higher rate. A prominent discontinuity at S = 2.0 (corresponding to He/H) was found in 3 of the 4 events, suggesting
anomalous behaviour of protons. The X/H ratios often show an initial increase followed by a decrease, and decay at a slower rate. We discuss possible causes of the observed B versus S trends within current understanding of SEP propagation.

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