Nordita Astrophysics seminars

Small-scale Dynamo Simulations: Magnetic Field Amplification in Exploding Granules and the Role of Deep and Shallow Recirculation

by Matthias Rempel (High Altitude Observatory)

122:026 ()


We analyze recent high-resolution photospheric small-scale dynamo simulations that were computed with the MURaM radiative MHD code. We focus our analysis on newly forming downflow lanes in exploding granules, as they show how weakly magnetized regions in the photosphere (the center of granules) evolve into strongly magnetized regions (downflow lanes). We find that newly formed downflow lanes initially exhibit mostly a laminar converging flow that amplifies the vertical magnetic field embedded in the granule from a few 10 G to field strengths exceeding 800 G. This results in extended magnetic sheets that have a length comparable to granular scales. Field amplification by turbulent shear first happens a few 100 km beneath the visible layers of the photosphere. Shallow recirculation transports the resulting turbulent field into the photosphere within minutes, after which the newly formed downflow lane shows a mix of strong magnetic sheets and turbulent field components. We stress in particular the role of shallow and deep recirculation for the organization and strength of magnetic field in the photosphere and discuss the photospheric and sub-photospheric energy conversion associated with the small-scale dynamo process. While the energy conversion through the Lorentz force depends only weakly on the saturation field strength (and therefore deep or shallow recirculation), it is strongly dependent on the magnetic Prandtl number. We discuss the potential of these findings for further constraining small-scale dynamo models through high-resolution observations.
ApJ 859, 161 (2018)