Vol. 1 (2004) > lrsp-2004-1

doi: 10.12942/lrsp-2004-1
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 1 (2004), 1

Magnetic Fields in the Solar Convection Zone

1 HAO, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO 80301, U.S.A.

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Article Abstract

Recent studies of the dynamic evolution of magnetic flux tubes in the solar convection zone are reviewed with focus on emerging flux tubes responsible for the formation of solar active regions. The current prevailing picture is that active regions on the solar surface originate from strong toroidal magnetic fields generated by the solar dynamo mechanism at the thin tachocline layer at the base of the solar convection zone. Thus the magnetic fields need to traverse the entire convection zone before they reach the photosphere to form the observed solar active regions. This review discusses results with regard to the following major topics: 1. the equilibrium properties of the toroidal magnetic fields stored in the stable overshoot region at the base of the convection zone, 2. the buoyancy instability associated with the toroidal magnetic fields and the formation of buoyant magnetic flux tubes, 3. the rise of emerging flux loops through the solar convective envelope as modeled by the thin flux tube calculations which infer that the field strength of the toroidal magnetic fields at the base of the solar convection zone is significantly higher than the value in equipartition with convection, 4. the minimum twist needed for maintaining cohesion of the rising flux tubes, 5. the rise of highly twisted kink unstable flux tubes as a possible origin of δ-sunspots, 6. the evolution of buoyant magnetic flux tubes in 3D stratified convection, 7. turbulent pumping of magnetic flux by penetrative compressible convection, 8. an alternative mechanism for intensifying toroidal magnetic fields to significantly super-equipartition field strengths by conversion of the potential energy associated with the superadiabatic stratification of the solar convection zone, and finally 9. a brief overview of our current understanding of flux emergence at the surface and post-emergence evolution of the subsurface magnetic fields.

Keywords: Interior, Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), Convection

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Article Citation

Since a Living Reviews in Solar Physics article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Yuhong Fan,
"Magnetic Fields in the Solar Convection Zone",
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 1,  (2004),  1. URL (cited on <date>):

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2004-1
Title Magnetic Fields in the Solar Convection Zone
Author Yuhong Fan
Date accepted 30 June 2004, published 29 July 2004
Date accepted 6 February 2007, published 9 February 2007
Changes Sections 5.2 and 8.2 have been significantly rewritten to add new studies and results. Two new figures are added.
Section 8.3 has been updated with recent calculations.
18 new references are included. For detailed description see here .

RefDB records now cited by this article:
UPDATE http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2009-4
Title Magnetic Fields in the Solar Convection Zone
Author Yuhong Fan
Date accepted 9 December 2009, published 14 December 2009
Changes Substantially revised and updated the previous version. Added 15 figures and new Sections 4.3, 5.1.5, 5.2, 5.5, and 5.7.3. 55 new references are added.
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