Two issues should be emphasized here. First, it is often taken for granted that the observed CME propagation in the coronagraph images is a mass motion, which was not judged based on spectroscopic observations. On the contrary, there is accumulating evidence to reveal that the propagation of the frontal loop in many CME events, especially those fast events, is not a mass motion. This issue is actually strongly related to the nature of CMEs (see discussions in Section 4.4). Second, all the plasmas within the CME cavity are also moving outward, not just the material along the frontal loop, as implied by spectral observations in the dimming region under the CME (Harra and Sterling, 2001).
It is found that the kinetic and potential energies of a typical CME amount to 1022 – 1025 J, which is similar to that of solar flares (Vourlidas et al., 2002; Emslie et al., 2004).
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 8, (2011), 1
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