Forward modelling of heating within a coronal arcade

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Aims. We investigate the synthetic observational signatures generated from numerical models of coronal heating in an arcade in order to determine what features are associated with such heating and what tools can be used to identify them. 
Methods. We consider two simulations of coronal arcades driven by footpoint motions with different characteristic timescales. Forward modelling is then conducted, and the synthetic emission data are analysed (e.g., intensities, Doppler shifts, line widths and estimated kinetic energies). 
Results. The total intensity and Doppler shift perturbations clearly show the magnetic structure of the coronal arcade. Contrasts in the local Doppler velocity also highlight the locations of separatrix surfaces. The distinguishing feature of the models with short and long timescale photospheric motions (in comparison to the Alfven travel time along a loop) is that of the frequencies. Through fast Fourier transform analysis of the Doppler velocities, it is clear that when short timescale footpoint motions are present, higher frequency perturbations are observed. For longer timescale footpoint motions, the dominant signal is that of lower frequencies; however, higher (but less powerful) frequencies were also detected, which matched the natural Alfven frequency of the background magnetic field. Signatures of Alfvenic waves were identified in both models, with fast wave signatures observable when short timescale driving is present. Finally, we examine the estimates of the kinetic energy using the Doppler velocities and find it to be significantly underestimated within these models. 
Conclusions. All of the observables within this article behave as one would expect, given the evolution of the plasma parameters. Such features were, for example, Alfven waves, fast waves, the arcade structure and separatrix surfaces. We were able to differentiate between the two models by examining the frequencies present. The Doppler velocities cannot provide accurate estimates of the total kinetic energy or even the component parallel to the line-of-sight (LOS). This is due to some of the plasma being outside the formation temperature of the ion, the multi-directional driver limiting the proportion of the velocity aligned along the LOS, and cancellation of the velocity along the LOS. The exact impact each factor has on the estimation is dependent on the setup of the model and the emission line under investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA120
Number of pages15
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date10 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • Sun: oscillations
  • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)


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