Damping of kink waves by mode coupling. II. Parametric study and seismology

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Context: Recent observations of the corona reveal ubiquitous transverse velocity perturbations that undergo strong damping as they propagate. These can be understood in terms of propagating kink waves that undergo mode coupling in inhomogeneous regions. Aims: The use of these propagating waves as a seismological tool for the investigation of the solar corona depends upon an accurate understanding of how the mode coupling behaviour is determined by local plasma parameters. Our previous work suggests the exponential spatial damping profile provides a poor description of the behaviour of strongly damped kink waves. We aim to investigate the spatial damping profile in detail and provide a guide to the approximations most suitable for performing seismological inversions. Methods: We propose a general spatial damping profile based on analytical results that accounts for the initial Gaussian stage of damped kink waves as well as the asymptotic exponential stage considered by previous authors. The applicability of this profile is demonstrated by a full parametric study of the relevant physical parameters. The implication of this profile for seismological inversions is investigated. Results: The Gaussian damping profile is found to be most suitable for application as a seismological tool for observations of oscillations in loops with a low density contrast. This profile also provides accurate estimates for data in which only a few wavelengths or periods are observed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA40
Number of pages13
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Stellar atmosphere
  • Corona
  • Magnetic topology
  • Stellar oscillations


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