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Nordita Astrophysics seminars

Bipolar region formation in stratified two-layer turbulence (NOTE THE UNUSUAL TIME)

by Illa R. Losada (Nordita & Stockholm University)

122:026 ()


This work presents an extensive study of the previously discovered formation of bipolar flux concentrations in a two-layer model. We relate the formation process to the negative effective magnetic pressure instability (NEMPI), which is a possible mechanism to explain the origin of sunspots. In our simulations we use a Cartesian domain of isothermal stratified gas which is divided into two layers. In the lower layer, turbulence is forced with transverse non-helical random waves, whereas in the upper layer no flow is induced. An initially weak uniform horizontal magnetic field is imposed in the entire domain. In this study we vary the stratification by changing the gravitational acceleration, magnetic Reynolds number, the strength of the imposed magnetic field and the size of the domain to investigate their influence on the formation process. Bipolar magnetic structure formation takes place over a large range of parameters. The magnetic structures become more intensive for higher stratification. The large fluid Reynolds numbers allow for the generation of flux concentrations when the magnetic Prandtln umber is between 0.1 and 1. The magnetic field in bipolar regions increases with higher imposed field strength until the field becomes comparable to the equipartition field strength of the turbulence. A larger horizontal extent enables the flux concentrations to become stronger and more coherent. The size of the bipolar structures turns out to be independent of the domain size. Bipolar flux concentrations are correlated with strong large-scale downward and converging flows and can therefore be explained by NEMPI.