Energetic storm particle events in coronal mass ejection–driven shocks

We investigate the variability in the occurrence of energetic storm particle (ESP) events associated with shocks driven by coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The interplanetary shocks were detected during the period from 1996 to 2006. First, we analyze the CME properties near the Sun. The CMEs with an ESP-producing shock are faster ($\langle$VCME$\rangle$ = 1088 km/s) than those driving shocks without an ESP event ($\langle$VCME$\rangle$ = 771 km/s) and have a larger fraction of halo CMEs (67% versus 38%). The Alfvénic Mach numbers of shocks with an ESP event are on average 1.6 times higher than those of shocks without. We also contrast the ESP event properties and frequency in shocks with and without a type II radio burst by dividing the shocks into radio-loud (RL) and radio-quiet (RQ) shocks, respectively. The shocks seem to be organized into a decreasing sequence by the energy content of the CMEs: RL shocks with an ESP event are driven by the most energetic CMEs, followed by RL shocks without an ESP event, then RQ shocks with and without an ESP event. The ESP events occur more often in RL shocks than in RQ shocks: 52% of RL shocks and only ∼33% of RQ shocks produced an ESP event at proton energies above 1.8 MeV; in the keV energy range the ESP frequencies are 80% and 65%, respectively. Electron ESP events were detected in 19% of RQ shocks and 39% of RL shocks. In addition, we find that (1) ESP events in RQ shocks are less intense than those in RL shocks; (2) RQ shocks with ESP events are predominately quasi-perpendicular shocks; (3) their solar sources are located slightly to the east of the central meridian; and (4) ESP event sizes show a modest positive correlation with the CME and shock speeds. The observation that RL shocks tend to produce more frequently ESP events with larger particle flux increases than RQ shocks emphasizes the importance of type II bursts in identifying solar events prone to producing high particle fluxes in the near-Earth space. However, the trend is not definitive. If there is no type II emission, an ESP event is less likely but not absent. The variability in the probability and size of ESP events most likely reflects differences in the shock formation in the low corona and changes in the properties of the shocks as they propagate through interplanetary space and the escape efficiency of accelerated particles from the shock front. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011JA016683

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