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On the Generation, Propagation, and Reflection of Alfvén Waves from the Solar Photosphere to the Distant Heliosphere View all abstracts by submitter

Steven R Cranmer   Submitted: 2004-10-27 08:17

We present a comprehensive model of the global properties of Alfvén waves in the solar atmosphere and the fast solar wind. Linear non-WKB wave transport equations are solved from the photosphere to a distance past the orbit of the Earth, and for wave periods ranging from 3 seconds to 3 days. We derive a radially varying power spectrum of kinetic and magnetic energy fluctuations for waves propagating in both directions along a superradially expanding magnetic flux tube. This work differs from previous models in three major ways. (1) In the chromosphere and low corona, the successive merging of flux tubes on granular and supergranular scales is described using a two-dimensional magnetostatic model of a network element. Below a critical flux-tube merging height the waves are modeled as thin-tube kink modes, and we assume that all of the kink-mode wave energy is transformed into volume-filling Alfvén waves above the merging height. (2) The frequency power spectrum of horizontal motions is specified only at the photosphere, based on prior analyses of G-band bright point kinematics. Everywhere else in the model the amplitudes of outward and inward propagating waves are computed with no free parameters. We find that the wave amplitudes in the corona agree well with off-limb nonthermal line-width constraints. (3) Nonlinear turbulent damping is applied to the results of the linear model using a phenomenological energy loss term. A single choice for the normalization of the turbulent outer-scale length produces both the right amount of damping at large distances (to agree with in situ measurements) and the right amount of heating in the extended corona (to agree with empirically constrained solar wind acceleration models). In the corona, the modeled heating rate differs by more than an order of magnitude from a rate based on isotropic Kolmogorov turbulence.

Authors: S. R. Cranmer and A. A. van Ballegooijen
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJS, in press (February 2005)
Last Modified: 2004-10-27 08:17
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