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Driving major solar flares and eruptions: a review View all abstracts by submitter

Karel Schrijver   Submitted: 2008-11-05 10:56

This review focuses on the processes that energize and trigger major solar flares and flux-rope destabilizations. Numerical modeling of specific solar regions is hampered by uncertain coronal-field reconstructions and by poorly understood magnetic reconnection; these limitations result in uncertain estimates of field topology, energy, and helicity. The primary advances in understanding field destabilizations therefore come from the combination of generic numerical experiments with interpretation of sets of observations. These suggest a critical role for the emergence of twisted flux ropes into pre-existing strong field for many, if not all, of the active regions that produce M- or X-class flares. The flux and internal twist of the emerging ropes appear to play as important a role in determining whether an eruption will develop predominantly as flare, confined eruption, or CME, as do the properties of the embedding field. Based on reviewed literature, I outline a scenario for major flares and eruptions that combines flux-rope emergence, mass draining, near-surface reconnection, and the interaction with the surrounding field. Whether deterministic forecasting is in principle possible remains to be seen: to date no reliable such forecasts can be made. Large-sample studies based on long-duration, comprehensive observations of active regions from their emergence through their flaring phase are needed to help us better understand these complex phenomena.

Authors: C.J. Schrijver
Projects: None

Publication Status: in press for Advances in Space Research
Last Modified: 2008-11-05 13:40
Go to main E-Print page  	Petschek-like Reconnection with Current-driven Anomalous Resistivity and Its Application to Solar Flares  Gas-dynamic shock heating of post-flare loops due to retraction following localized, impulsive reconnection  Edit Entry  Download Preprint  Submitter's Homepage Delete Entry 

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