We use MHD simulations to detect the nonlinear effects of torsional Alfvén wave propagation in a potential magnetic field with exponentially divergent field lines, embedded in a stratified solar corona. In Paper I we considered solutions to the linearised governing equations for torsional Alfvén wave propagation and showed, using a finite difference solver we developed named WiggleWave, that in certain scenarios wave damping is stronger than what would be predicted by our analytic solutions. In this paper we consider whether damping would be further enhanced by the presence of nonlinear effects. We begin by deriving the nonlinear governing equations for torsional Alfvén wave propagation and identifying the terms that cause coupling to magnetosonic perturbations. We then compare simulation outputs from an MHD solver called Lare3d, which solves the full set of nonlinear MHD equations, to the outputs from WiggleWave to detect nonlinear effects such as: the excitation of magnetosonic waves by the Alfvén wave, self-interaction of the Alfvén wave through coupling to the induced magnetosonic waves, and the formation of shock waves higher in the atmosphere caused by the steepening of these compressive perturbations. We suggest that the presence of these nonlinear effects in the solar corona would lead to Alfvén wave heating that exceeds the expectation from the phase mixing alone.

Authors: C.Boocock and D.Tsiklauri
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted MNRAS
Last Modified: 2021-12-27 19:58

Enhanced Phase Mixing of Torsional Alfvén Waves in Stratified and Divergent Solar Coronal Structures, Paper I: Linear Solutions

We derive a corrected analytical solution for the propagation and enhanced phase mixing of torsional Alfvén waves, in a potential magnetic field with exponentially divergent field lines, embedded in a stratified solar corona. Further we develop a code named TAWAS which calculates the analytic solution describing torsional Alfvén waves using IDL software language. We then use TAWAS to demonstrate that both our correction to the analytic solution and the inclusion of wave reflection have a significant impact on Alfvén wave damping. We continue to utilise TAWAS by performing a parameter study in order to identify the conditions under which enhanced phase mixing is strongest. We find that phase mixing is the strongest for high frequency Alfvén waves in magnetic fields with highly divergent field lines and without density stratification. We then present a finite difference solver, Wigglewave, which solves the linearised evolution equations for the system directly. Comparing solutions from TAWAS and Wigglewave we see that our analytical solution is accurate within the limits of the WKB approximation but under-reports the wave damping, caused by enhanced phase mixing, beyond the WKB limit. Both TAWAS and Wigglewave solve the linearised governing equations and not the complete nonlinear MHD equations. Paper II will consider simulations that solve the full MHD equations including important nonlinear effects.

Authors: Callum Boocock, David Tsiklauri
Projects: None

Publication Status: Published in MNRAS
Last Modified: 2021-12-07 17:57

A potential magnetic field calculator for solar physics applications using staggered grids

A program has been designed for accurately generating a potential magnetic field on a staggered grid by extrapolating the magnetic field normal to the photospheric surface. The code first calculates a magnetic potential using the Green's function method and then uses a finite differencing scheme to calculate the magnetic field from the potential. A new finite differencing formula was derived which accounts for grid staggering, it is shown that this formula gives a numerical approximation that is closest to the real potential field. It is also shown that extending the region over which normal photospheric field is specified can improve the accuracy of the potential field produced. The program is a FORTRAN 90 code that can be used to generate potential magnetic field inputs for Lare3d and other MHD solvers that use a staggered grid for magnetic field components. The program can be parallelised to run quickly over multiple computing cores. The code and supporting description are provided in the appendices and can also be found at https://github.com/calboo/Potential_Field_Calculator.

Authors: Callum M. Boocock, David Tsiklauri
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted
Last Modified: 2019-05-01 12:06