The Effects of Interplanetary Transport in the Event-intergrated Solar Energetic Particle Spectra
Rassoul, Hamid K.
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Previous investigations on the energy spectra of solar energetic particle (SEP) events revealed that the energy spectra observed at 1 au often show double power laws with break energies from one to tens of MeV/nuc. In order to determine whether the double power-law features result from the SEP source or the interplanetary transport process from the Sun to 1 au, we separately analyze the SEP spectra in the decay phase, during which the transport effect is minimum. In this paper, we reported three events observed by the Interplanetary Monitory Platform 8 spacecraft, which occurred on 1977 September 19, November 22, and 1979 March 1. For the first two events, the event-integrated spectra of protons possess double power-law profiles with break energies in a range of several MeV to tens of MeV, while the spectra integrated in the decay (reservoir) phase yield single power laws. Moreover, a general trend from a double power law at the rising phase to a single power law at the decay phase is observed. For the third event, both the event-integrated and the reservoir spectra show double power-law features. However, the difference between the low- and high-energy power-law indices is smaller for the reservoir spectrum than the event-integrated spectrum. These features were reproduced by solving the 1D diffusion equation analytically and we suggest that the transport process, especially the diffusion process, plays an important role in breaking the energy spectra. © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..