12-20 July 2017
Asia/Seoul timezone
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BEXCO - Room F(201/202/203/204)

[SH040] On the Pulse Shape of Ground Level Enhancements


  • Helena KRUEGER

Primary authors


  • Helena KRUEGER (Centre for Space Research, North-West University, South Africa)
  • Rogelio CABALLERO-LOPEZ (Ciencias Espaciales, Instituto de Geofsica, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico)
  • Harm MORAAL (Centre for Space Research, North-West University, South Africa)
  • Ken MCCRACKEN (Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland, USA)
  • Olakunle OGUNJOBI (Centre for Space Research, North-West University, South Africa)


We study the temporal intensity prole, or pulse shape, of cosmic ray ground level enhancements (GLEs) by calculating the rise (tr) and decay (td) times for a small subset of all available events. Although these quantities show very large inter-event variability, a linear dependence of td~3.5tr is found. We interpret these observational findings in terms of an interplanetary transport model, thereby including the effects of scattering (in pitch-angle) as these particles propagate from (near) the Sun to Earth. It is shown that such a model can account for the observed trends in the pulse shape, illustrating that interplanetary transport must be taken into account when studying GLE events, especially their temporal profiles. Furthermore, depending on the model parameters, the pulse shape of GLEs may be determined entirely by interplanetary scattering, obscuring all information regarding the initial acceleration process, and hence making a classification between impulsive and gradual events, as is traditionally done, superfluous.