Modelling flux tube dynamics

Søren Bertil Fabricius Dorch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Over the last few years, numerical models of the behavior of solar magnetic flux tubes have gone from using methods that were essentially one-dimensional (i.e. the thin flux tube approximation), over more or less idealized two-dimensional simulations, to becoming ever more realistic three-dimensional case studies. Along the way a lot of new knowledge has been picked up as to the e.g. the likely topology of the flux tubes, and the instabilities that they are subjected to etc. Within the context of what one could call the "flux tube solar dynamo paradigm," I will discuss recent results of efforts to study buoyant magnetic flux tubes ascending from deep below the photosphere, before they emerge in active regions and interact with the field in the overlying atmosphere (cf. the contributions by Boris Gudiksen and Åke Nordlund): i.e. I am not addressing the flux tubes associated with magnetic bright points, which possibly are generated by a small-scale dynamo operating in the solar photosphere (cf. the contribution by Bob Stein). The presented efforts are numerical MHD simulations of twisted flux ropes and loops, interacting with rotation and convection. Ultimately the magnetic surface signatures of these simulations, when compared to observations, constraints the dynamo processes that are responsible for the generation of the flux ropes in the first place. Along with these new results several questions pop up (both old and new ones), regarding the nature of flux tubes and consequently of the solar dynamo.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesESA SP
Issue number505
Pages (from-to)129-136
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Flux tubes
  • Granulation
  • Interior
  • Magnetic fields
  • Sun


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