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An Efficient Approximation of the Coronal Heating Rate for Use in Global Sun-Heliosphere Simulations View all abstracts by submitter

Steven R Cranmer   Submitted: 2010-01-04 08:45

The origins of the hot solar corona and the supersonically expanding solar wind are still the subject of debate. A key obstacle in the way of producing realistic simulations of the Sun-heliosphere system is the lack of a physically motivated way of specifying the coronal heating rate. Recent one-dimensional models have been found to reproduce many observed features of the solar wind by assuming the energy comes from Alfvén waves that are partially reflected, then dissipated by magnetohydrodynamic turbulence. However, the nonlocal physics of wave reflection has made it difficult to apply these processes to more sophisticated (three-dimensional) models. This paper presents a set of robust approximations to the solutions of the linear Alfvén wave reflection equations. A key ingredient to the turbulent heating rate is the ratio of inward to outward wave power, and the approximations developed here allow this to be written explicitly in terms of local plasma properties at any given location. The coronal heating also depends on the frequency spectrum of Alfvén waves in the open-field corona, which has not yet been measured directly. A model-based assumption is used here for the spectrum, but the results of future measurements can be incorporated easily. The resulting expression for the coronal heating rate is self-contained, computationally efficient, and applicable directly to global models of the corona and heliosphere. This paper tests and validates the approximations by comparing the results to exact solutions of the wave transport equations in several cases relevant to the fast and slow solar wind.

Authors: S. R. Cranmer
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJ, in press, arXiv:0912.5333
Last Modified: 2010-01-04 09:31
Go to main E-Print page  Geometric Triangulation of Imaging Observations to Track Coronal Mass Ejections Continuously Out to 1 AU  Transverse oscillations of a multi-stranded loop  Edit Entry  Download Preprint  Submitter's Homepage Delete Entry 

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