Solar Physics

, Volume 285, Issue 1–2, pp 295–315 | Cite as

Propagation of Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections: The Drag-Based Model

  • B. Vršnak
  • T. Žic
  • D. Vrbanec
  • M. Temmer
  • T. Rollett
  • C. Möstl
  • A. Veronig
  • J. Čalogović
  • M. Dumbović
  • S. Lulić
  • Y.-J. Moon
  • A. Shanmugaraju


We present the “Drag-Based Model” (DBM) of heliospheric propagation of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). The DBM is based on the hypothesis that the driving Lorentz force, which launches a CME, ceases in the upper corona and that beyond a certain distance the dynamics becomes governed solely by the interaction of the ICME and the ambient solar wind. In particular, we consider the option where the drag acceleration has a quadratic dependence on the ICME relative speed, which is expected in a collisionless environment, where the drag is caused primarily by emission of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves. In this paper we present the simplest version of DBM, where the equation of motion can be solved analytically, providing explicit solutions for the Sun–Earth ICME transit time and impact speed. This offers easy handling and straightforward application to real-time space-weather forecasting. Beside presenting the model itself, we perform an analysis of DBM performances, applying a statistical and case-study approach, which provides insight into the advantages and drawbacks of DBM. Finally, we present a public, DBM-based, online forecast tool.


Coronal mass ejections, interplanetary Magnetohydrodynamics Solar wind, disturbances 



We are grateful to the anonymous referee for constructive comments and suggestions, which improved the manuscript considerably. The presented work has received funding from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programs (FP7/2007-2013) under the grant agreements No. 218816 (SOTERIA project, ) and No. 263252 (COMESEP project, ). M.T. acknowledges the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): FWF V195-N16. C.M. acknowledges the support by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme. Y.-J.M. has been supported by the WCU Program (No. R31-10016) and research grants (KRF-2008-314-C00158, 20090071744 and 20100014501) though the National Research Foundation of the Republic of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Vršnak
    • 1
  • T. Žic
    • 1
  • D. Vrbanec
    • 1
  • M. Temmer
    • 2
  • T. Rollett
    • 2
  • C. Möstl
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. Veronig
    • 2
  • J. Čalogović
    • 1
  • M. Dumbović
    • 1
  • S. Lulić
    • 4
  • Y.-J. Moon
    • 5
  • A. Shanmugaraju
    • 6
  1. 1.Hvar Observatory, Faculty of GeodesyUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.IGAM, Institute of PhysicsUniversity of GrazGrazAustria
  3. 3.Space Science LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.Karlovac University of Applied SciencesKarlovacCroatia
  5. 5.School of Space ResearchKyung Hee UniversityYonginRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Department of PhysicsArul Anandar CollegeKarumathurIndia

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