Bald patches are magnetic topologies in which the magnetic field is concave up over part of a photospheric polarity inversion line. A bald patch topology is believed to be the essential ingredient for filament channels and is often found in extrapolations of the observed photospheric field. Using an analytic source-surface model to calculate the magnetic topology of a small bipolar region embedded in a global magnetic dipole field, we demonstrate that although common in closed-field regions close to the solar equator, bald patches are unlikely to occur in the open-field topology of a coronal hole.
Our results give rise to the following question: What happens to a bald patch topology when the surrounding field lines open up? This would be the case when a bald patch moves into a coronal hole, or when a coronal hole forms in an area that encompasses a bald patch. Our magnetostatic models show that, in this case, the bald patch topology almost invariably transforms into a null point topology with
a spine and a fan. We argue that the time-dependent evolution of this scenario will be very dynamic since the change from a bald patch to null point topology cannot occur via a simple ideal evolution in the corona. We discuss the implications of these findings for recent Hinode XRT observations of coronal hole jets and give an outline of
planned time-dependent 3D MHD simulations to fully assess this scenario.
Authors: D.A.N. Mueller and S.K. Antiochos
Publication Status: in press
Last Modified: 2008-09-23 21:10