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Self-organized criticality from separator reconnection in View all abstracts by submitter

Dana Longcope   Submitted: 2000-03-13 19:03

solar flaressolar flaresA new cellular automaton model for solar flares is presented, in which a complex coronal magnetic field is stressed by photospheric shear. The minimum current corona model is used to describe the slow build-up and sudden release of stress in the field. Stress takes the form of currents flowing along the field's network of magnetic separators; it is released by magnetic reconnection. By this model we show how magnetic reconnection can occur as an avalanche, releasing stress along an extended region of the separator network. The model exhibits self-organized criticality, thus the sizes of reconnection avalanches are distributed with a power-law. Flare durations and peak emission levels are also distributed according to power-laws, with different exponents. Because the model is derived from the application magnetohydrodynamics to a coronal field, it is possible to assign physical sizes to its avalanches. These agree well with the sizes and frequencies of observed flares. The total power from flares of all sizes agrees with observation and is therefore well below the inferred coronal heating power.

Authors: D. W. Longcope and E. J. Noonan

Publication Status: ApJ (submitted)
Last Modified: 2000-03-13 19:03
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