Articles | Volume 31, issue 8
Regular paper
06 Aug 2013
Regular paper |  | 06 Aug 2013

Observations of IMF coherent structures and their relationship to SEP dropout events

L. Trenchi, R. Bruno, R. D'Amicis, M. F. Marcucci, and D. Telloni

Abstract. The solar energetic particle (SEP) events from impulsive solar flares are often characterized by short-timescale modulations affecting, at the same time, particles with different energies. Several models and simulations suggest that these modulations are observed when SEPs propagate through magnetic structures with a different connection with the flare site. However, in situ observations rarely showed clear magnetic signatures associated with these modulations.

In this paper we used the Grad–Shafranov reconstruction to perform a detailed analysis of the local magnetic field topology during the SEP event of 9–10 January 1999, characterized by several SEP dropouts. An optimization procedure is used to identify, during this SEP event, the magnetic structures which better satisfy the Grad–Shafranov assumptions and to evaluate the direction of their invariant axis.

We found that these two-dimensional structures, which are flux ropes or current sheets with a more complex field topology, are generally associated with the maxima in the SEP counts. This association suggests that the SEPs propagate within these structures and, since their gyration radii is much smaller than the transverse dimension of these structure, cannot escape from them.