skip to main content

Title: NONLINEAR DYNAMICS OF MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC ROSSBY WAVES AND THE CYCLIC NATURE OF SOLAR MAGNETIC ACTIVITY

The solar dynamo is known to be associated with several periodicities, with the nearly 11/22 yr cycle being the most pronounced one. Even though these quasiperiodic variations of solar activity have been attributed to the underlying dynamo action in the Sun's interior, a fundamental theoretical description of these cycles is still elusive. Here, we present a new possible direction in understanding the Sun's cycles based on resonant nonlinear interactions among magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) Rossby waves. The WKB theory for dispersive waves is applied to magnetohydrodynamic shallow-water equations describing the dynamics of the solar tachocline, and the reduced dynamics of a resonant triad composed of MHD Rossby waves embedded in constant toroidal magnetic field is analyzed. In the conservative case, the wave amplitudes evolve periodically in time, with periods on the order of the dominant solar activity timescale (∼11 yr). In addition, the presence of linear forcings representative of either convection or instabilities of meridionally varying background states appears to be crucial in balancing dissipation and thus sustaining the periodic oscillations of wave amplitudes associated with resonant triad interactions. Examination of the linear theory of MHD Rossby waves embedded in a latitudinally varying mean flow demonstrates that MHD Rossby waves propagate toward the equator in amore » waveguide from –35° to 35° in latitude, showing a remarkable resemblance to the structure of the butterfly diagram of the solar activity. Therefore, we argue that resonant nonlinear magnetohydrodynamic Rossby wave interactions might significantly contribute to the observed cycles of magnetic solar activity.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas, Departamento de Geofísica, Rua do Matão, 1226-Cidade Universitária São Paulo-SP 05508-090 (Brazil)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364462
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 799; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AMPLITUDES; CONVECTION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; OSCILLATIONS; PERIODICITY; SOLAR ACTIVITY; SUN; TURBULENCE; WAVEGUIDES