03/17/2015 04:00:00 UTC

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Comment Section

  • varSITI campaign event
  • Largest geomagnetic storm at Earth for solar cycle 24, this event registered a Dst peak of -228 nT.
  • Based on both the in-situ signature of the event and the ENLIL solar wind prediction for this date, I think it is likely a CIR played a role in making it so strong. There is a strong coronal hole at the South Pole and the ENLIL simulation ([[1]]) shows a fairly fast stream that interacts with the CME, and this fast speed stream (~600 km/s) shows up in ACE data as well. Based on the C2 and C3 images for the day, it appears there is a slow CME launching around noon on the 14th with a small but visible filament. On the morning of the 15th a partial halo CME, associated with a long duration flare that fell just short of M class (C9.1) and from the same active region (AR 12297), launched propagating to the East of the Sun Earth line. I think it is likely that an interaction between the CME+shock of this event and the previous blob CME, as well as the added energy from the CIR and fast speed stream behind the CME caused the severity of the geomagnetic activity at the Earth (Hess)
  • This super storm is produced through a combination of effects: (1) strong magnetic field in the sheath region (> 25 nT at peak)) and ejecta (>30 nT at peak, (2) Bs field encompasses the entire duration of the ejecta, due to that the axis of the flux rope is highly inclined toward the north-south direction, (3) the interaction with CIR, and almost contained in a CIR region. Such containment by CIR prevents the expansion of the flux rope, thus makes the flux rope small in size by strong in magnetic field (Jie Zhang).
  • This may be a kind of CME-CME interaction event. We have a large filament, embedded in a magnetic flux rope, close to the AR which released this highly geoeffective CME. Part of the filament (or flux rope) erupted - or at least, left the low corona - already on March 14 (around 12UT). The final and major eruption on March 15 seems to interact with the first disturbance. The interacting sectors might propagate close to Earth direction. This might be a reason for the complex in-situ signatures (two flux ropes?) as well as the increased geoeffectiveness (Manuela Temmer).
  • I was looking at the structure of the ejecta using the Grad-Shafranov reconstruction method. What amazes me is that the cloud can be reconstructed fairly well by the technique despite the magnetic field fluctuations. The reconstruction shows two flux ropes, which is consistent with two interacting CMEs seen in the coronagraph images. (Ling Liu)
  • With the ElEvo model results for the March 15 04:00 UT CME shock propagation from Sun to Earth, I need a quite low value of gamma to get the Wind speed and arrival time right, which reflects that this CME did not seem to experience much drag during interplanetary propagation. If the CME apex is really about 40° away from the Earth (as indicated by the source region position), I think its very surprising that Earth is hit by the flux rope. I think this is only possible if the flux rope had a very low inclination to the ecliptic, or as said before that there was some interaction with the CME on March 14. Maybe the drag parameter is low because the CIR was pushing from behind, adding an additional force? (Christian Moestl)
  • For Christian's high inclination problem, I think that an explanation is the deflection. My theory proposed that fast CMEs deflect toward east and slow CMEs deflect toward west (Wang et al., JGR, 119, 5117, 2014). Also there are in situ signatures of such possible deflection. From fitting results of my velocity-modified flux rope model, we find there is significant propagation velocity of the CME at 1 AU which is perpendicular to the Sun-Earth line (in +y direction in GSE coordinates). (Yuming Wang)

USTC mini workshop discussion[2015/06/12]

Initiation near the Sun

Flare: raise/decay time 58 min / 6 hours

CME: Initial speed ~500 - 1000 km/s

Complex eruption. At least three different filaments involved.

Two smaller ones on the left erupted. The longer one on the right was active but not erupted.

First jet like filament eruption at the time of ~00:38UT produced a short duration C2 flare. Second filament eruption at the time of ~01:15UT (flare onset) produced the long duration C9 flare and the CME.

The source region of the flare/filament was not located near the main neutral line of the strong main bipolar region. It was located on the south west of the main active region.

Strong magnetic field cancellation observed near the source region of the second filament eruption.

There was an extended coronal hole in the south west of the active region which might be the source of the fast stream following the ICME.

Propagation in the interplanetary space

There was consensus that CME1 on the March 14 and CME2 on the March 15 were not interacted. There was no evidence of interaction in LASCO C2 and C3 images.

Manuela Temmer: just a comment - from the below given results for the CME speed over the distance range 4-20Rs, we derive a deceleration of -20 to -27 m/s^2. This is a rather high value compared to the average as derived from LASCO CDAW results. Cme acceleration CDAW.png

From Phil Hess’s measurements based on the spherical bubble model, the CME speed at 4 Rs near 02:00UT is 1100 km/s. It decelerated to 750 km/s at the 20 Rs at 05:30 UT. The propagation direction of this CME is S11W39.

From the GCS model fitting results done by USTC STEP group, the propagation direction is S11W46.

The speed at 02:00UT was 1000 km/s. When it propagated at 20 Rs near the time of 06:06UT, its speed is 720km/s.

From the USTC’s Ice Cream Cone model’s fitting results, this CME propagated with the speed of 807 km/s in the LASCO field of view. The propagation direction is S10W35. The angular width is 115 degree.

Observed transit time: 51 hours (flare onset to shock arrival) || 57 hours (flare onset to ICME arrival)

Model calculations:

Assume: CME initial speed = 800km/s

Background solar wind speed=500 km/s

Results SPM2 [Zhao et al. JGR, 2014, http://www.spaceweather.ac.cn/groupmodel.php?group=sigma ] 53 hours for shock

        DMB [Bojan Vrsnak, http://oh.geof.unizg.hr/DBM/dbm.php]: 57 hours for ICME 

Assume: CME initial speed = 800km/s

Background solar wind speed=400 km/s

Results: SPM2[Zhao et al. JGR, 2014, ] 60 hours for shock

        DMB[Bojan Vrsnak]: 63 hours for ICME

In situ properties and geoeffectiveness


What is the connection between the solar and interplanetary observations?

Why this high inclined and not earth directed CME arrived at the Earth?

Why is this a super geomagnetic storm considering the small flare of C9 class and intermediate CME speed of less than 1000 km/s?

Why is the magnetic field irregular? i. e. not a typical magnetic cloud?

Geospace response

Image Data

In-situ data

20150315 magplasma.png 20150315 mag.png

  • These are in-situ plots based on the ACE daily text files, I will update them when the cdf data becomes available. In these plots the shock is very clear, but beyond that any ejecta signature is weak and there does not appear to be any strong Magnetic cloud. But there are two clear and distinct periods of strong -Bz. (Hess)


  • Manuela Temmer: Wind in-situ data, and attempt to fit the flux rope (Lundquist model).


Image collection of white light and chromospheric data, showing two disturbances and the partly erupted filament which is related to the CME producing AR: [link http://www.uni-graz.at/~temmerma/download/varsiti/20150315.pdf]


20150315 goes.png

SOHO/LASO measurement

Hess heights.png

  • Height-Time plot based on SOHO/LASCO measurement

Hess velocity.png

  • Velocity-Time plot from SOHO/LASCO H-T measurement
  • Height-Time measurement data from SOHO/LASCO: Hess_measurement.docx

measurements from CORIMP (max speed given as 918 km/s, central PA as 262) http://alshamess.ifa.hawaii.edu/CORIMP/realtime/soho/lasco/detections/2015/03/15/cme_kins/plot_kins_quartiles_savgol_20150315_000006.jpg

Interplanetary Propagation

Christian Möstl and Tanja Rollett: ElEvo results (parameters already tweaked so it matches Wind arrivals): shock arrival at Wind: March 17 03:50 UT arrival speed 665 km/s

Wind observations (taken from the Wu et al. draft): shock arrival March 17 03:59 UT arrival speed of the sheath is 500- 600 km/s, about 100 km/s less than the ElEvo arrival speed.

This model/plot can be adjusted very easily if you think the CME initial speed, direction and launch time should be different.

initial CME parameters: inital speed at 15 Rs: 1120 km/s, at time 2015 March 15 04:00 UT, direction to Earth west 39° the speed was taken from Kevin Schenk real time email, consistent with Gopalswamy et al. proceeding; same for direction. Thus I assume that the source region position is similar to the CME direction. Because the flare happens inside the AR and there are no large coronal holes nearby, it should be relatively safe to assume this direction as the CME propagation direction. The asymmetric halo with more material to the west of the Sun also supports this. Other Parameters: background wind: 400 km/s, gamma: 0.1, ellipse aspect ratio 1.6, full width: 100° in heliospheric longitude.

We have also experimented with the initial conditions given by the above LASCO measurements for the CME shock, using launch on March 15 08:06 UT, at 28.7 Rs, speed of 700 km/s but the arrival times we get are about 0.5-1 day to late compared to the observed one at Wind, even with very extreme choices for gamma and the ellipse aspect ratio or a direct propagation towards Earth the observed arrival time is not reproduced. Thus, it seems that the (projected) initial speed is too slow for this event - ElEvo with 1120 km/s initial speed as indicated by the real time measurements is able to reproduce the observed arrival time and speed as shown above.

Elevo 15 mar 2015 storm small2.png

Video Data

AIA 171 movie
AIA 193 movie
AIA 304 movie
AIA 1600 movie
HMI movie
C2 movie
C3 movie
movie from CORIMP catalogue: http://alshamess.ifa.hawaii.edu/CORIMP/realtime/soho/lasco/detections/2015/03/15/cme_ims_orig_20150315_000006/movie_C3.html


- ElEvo model: Möstl et al. 2015 Nature Communications, open access: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150526/ncomms8135/full/ncomms8135.html

- P. Gallagher press release: http://files.mail-list.com/m/iswinewsletter/2015-07-space-weather-scans-solar-storms.pdf

- Kataoka, R., D. Shiota, E. Kilpua, K. Keika, JGR-A, accepted, July 2015.

- Kamide, Y. & K. Kusano, Space Weather, 13, 2015.

- Gopalswamy et al., Proc. 14th International Ionospheric Effects Symposium, May 12-14, 2015, Alexandria, VA.

- Liu, Y. at al., Plasma and Magnetic Field Characteristics of Solar Coronal Mass Ejections in Relation to Geomagnetic Storm Intensity and Variability, subm. ApJL, arXiv:1508.01267v1.

- Wang, Y. et al., On the Propagation of a Geoeffective Coronal Mass Ejection during March 15 – 17, 2015, JGR, 121, 7423 (2016).

- Jakosky, B. M., J. M. Grebowsky, J. G. Luhmann, D. A. Brain, Initial results from the MAVEN mission to Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/2015GL065271 (2015).

- Cherniak, I., I. Zakharenkova, and R. J. Redmon (2015), Dynamics of the high-latitude ionospheric irregularities during the 17 March 2015 St. Patrick’s Day storm: Ground-based GPS measurements, Space Weather, 13, 585–597,doi:10.1002/2015SW001237.

- Le, G., et al. (2016), Magnetopause erosion during the 17 March 2015 magnetic storm: Combined field-aligned currents, auroral oval, and magnetopause observations, GRL, 43, 2396–2404, doi:10.1002/2016GL068257.

- Wood, B. E., J. L. Lean, S. E. McDonald, and Y.-M. Wang (2016), Comparative ionospheric impacts and solar origins of nine strong geomagnetic storms in 2010–2015, J. Geophys. Res., 121, 4938–4965, doi:10.1002/2015JA021953.

- Wu, C.-C., et al., The first super geomagnetic storm of solar cycle 24: “The St. Patrick’s day event (17 March 2015)”, Earth, Planets and Space (2016) 68:151 DOI 10.1186/s40623-016-0525-y.

- Wang, R., Liu, Y. D., et al., Sympathetic solar filament eruptions, 2016, Astrophys. J. Lett., 827, L12.

- Marubashi, K., Cho, K.-S., Kim, R.-S., Kim, S., Park, S.-H., Ishibashi, H.: 2016, The 17 March 2015 storm: The associated magnetic flux rope structure and the storm development, Earth, Planets Space, 68, 173, DOI: 10.1186/s40623-016-0551-9.

- Marubashi, K., K.-S. Cho, H. Ishibashi: 2017, Interplanetary Magnetic Flux Rope as Agent Connecting Solar Eruptions and Geomagnetic Activities, Solar Phys., submitted.

- Webb, D., N. Nitta: 2017, Study on Understanding Problem Forecasts of ISEST Campaign Flare-CME Events, Solar Phys., submitted.