Resonant absorption in expanding coronal magnetic flux tubes with uniform density

Thomas Alexander Howson, Ineke De Moortel, Patrick Antolin, Tom Van Doorsselaere, Andrew Nicholas Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Aims. We investigate the transfer of energy between a fundamental standing kink mode and azimuthal Alfvén waves within an expanding coronal magnetic flux tube. We consider the process of resonant absorption in a loop with a non-uniform Alfvén frequency profile but in the absence of a radial density gradient.
Methods. Using the three dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code, Lare3d, we modelled a transversely oscillating magnetic flux tube that expands radially with height. An initially straight loop structure with a magnetic field enhancement was allowed to relax numerically towards a force-free state before a standing kink mode was introduced. The subsequent dynamics, rate of wave damping and formation of small length scales are considered.
Results. We demonstrate that the transverse gradient in Alfvén frequency required for the existence of resonant field lines can be associated with the expansion of a high field-strength flux tube from concentrated flux patches in the lower solar atmosphere. This allows for the conversion of energy between wave modes even in the absence of the transverse density profile typically assumed in wave heating models. As with standing modes in straight flux tubes, small scales are dominated by the vorticity at the loop apex and by currents close to the loop foot points. The azimuthal Alfvén wave exhibits the structure of the expanded flux tube and is therefore associated with smaller length scales close to the foot points of the flux tube than at the loop apex.
Conclusions. Resonant absorption can proceed throughout the coronal volume, even in the absence of visible, dense, loop structures. The flux tube and MHD waves considered are difficult to observe and our model highlights how estimating hidden wave power within the Sun’s atmosphere can be problematic. We highlight that, for standing modes, the global properties of field lines are important for resonant absorption and coronal conditions at a single altitude will not fully determine the nature of MHD resonances. In addition, we provide a new model in partial response to the criticism that wave heating models cannot self-consistently generate or sustain the density profile upon which they typically rely.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA105
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date31 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


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


Dive into the research topics of 'Resonant absorption in expanding coronal magnetic flux tubes with uniform density'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this