Measurements of temperature and density near supra-arcade current sheets suggest that plasma on unreconnected field lines may experience some degree of ?pre-heating? and ?pre-densification? prior to their reconnection. Models of patchy reconnection allow for heating and acceleration of plasma along reconnected field lines but do not offer a mechanism for transport of thermal energy across field lines. Here we present a model in which a reconnected flux tube retracts, deforming the surrounding layer of unreconnected field. The deformation creates constrictions that act as peristaltic pumps, driving plasma flow along affected field lines. Under certain circumstances these flows lead to shocks that can extend far out into the unreconnected field, altering the plasma properties in the affected region. These findings have direct implications for observations in the solar corona, particularly in regard to such phenomena as high temperatures near current sheets in eruptive solar flares and wakes seen in the form of descending regions of density depletion or supra-arcade downflows.
Authors: Roger B. Scott, Dana W. Longcope, David E. McKenzie
Publication Status: accepted to ApJ
Last Modified: 2013-09-03 12:22