Characteristic magnetic field and speed properties of interplanetary coronal mass ejections and their sheath regions
Owens, M. J., Cargill, P.J., Pagel, C., Siscoe, G.L. and Crooker, N.U. (2005) Characteristic magnetic field and speed properties of interplanetary coronal mass ejections and their sheath regions. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110 (a1). A01105. ISSN 0148-0227
To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2004JA010814
Prediction of the solar wind conditions in near-Earth space, arising from both quasi-steady and transient structures, is essential for space weather forecasting. To achieve forecast lead times of a day or more, such predictions must be made on the basis of remote solar observations. A number of empirical prediction schemes have been proposed to forecast the transit time and speed of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) at 1 AU. However, the current lack of magnetic field measurements in the corona severely limits our ability to forecast the 1 AU magnetic field strengths resulting from interplanetary CMEs (ICMEs). In this study we investigate the relation between the characteristic magnetic field strengths and speeds of both magnetic cloud and noncloud ICMEs at 1 AU. Correlation between field and speed is found to be significant only in the sheath region ahead of magnetic clouds, not within the clouds themselves. The lack of such a relation in the sheaths ahead of noncloud ICMEs is consistent with such ICMEs being skimming encounters of magnetic clouds, though other explanations are also put forward. Linear fits to the radial speed profiles of ejecta reveal that faster-traveling ICMEs are also expanding more at 1 AU. We combine these empirical relations to form a prediction scheme for the magnetic field strength in the sheaths ahead of magnetic clouds and also suggest a method for predicting the radial speed profile through an ICME on the basis of upstream measurements.