Effect of rossby and alfvén waves on the dynamics of the tachocline

Nicolas Leprovost, Eun Jin Kim

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16 Citations (Scopus)
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To understand magnetic diffusion, momentum transport, and mixing in the interior of the Sun, we consider an idealized model of the tachocline, namely, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence on a β-plane subject to a large-scale shear (provided by the latitudinal differential rotation). This model enables us to self-consistently derive the influence of shear, Rossby, and Alfvén waves on the transport properties of turbulence. In the strong magnetic field regime, we find that the turbulent viscosity and difiusivity are reduced by magnetic fields only, as in the two-dimensional MHD case (without Rossby waves). In the weak magnetic field regime, we find a crossover scale (LR) from a Alfvén-dominated regime (on small scales) to a Rossby-dominated regime (on large scales). For parameter values typical of the tachocline, L R is larger than the solar radius so that Rossby waves are unlikely to play an important role in the transport of magnetic field and angular momentum. This is mainly due to the enhancement of magnetic back-reaction by shearing, which efficiently generates small scales, and thus strong currents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1166-1170
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • Sun: interior
  • Sun: rotation
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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