Slow-shock heating in post-flare arches

P. Hick*, E. R. Priest

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The heating of a coronal arch, following the occurrence of a dynamic (two-ribbon) flare, is discussed. We investigate whether slow-shock heating, occurring during the reconnection process in the dynamic flare and responsible for the heating of the post-flare loops, is also a workable proposition for the heating of a coronal arch. Contrary to the flare loops, the shock structure in the arch is generally not modified greatly by thermal conduction effects. As a result slow-shock heating may be investigated in terms of the familiar MHD shock jump relations. The observed enhanced arch density with respect to the surrounding corona is explained as a direct consequence of the reconnection process. For a combination of high arch temperatures and low values of coronal magnetic field and density thermal conduction may become important and will lead to an extra density enhancement in the arch. Our interpretation of the arch of 21-22 May, 1980 suggests that the formation of the arch took approximately one hour, and that observed temperature, density and maximum energy content can be consistently explained by the slow-shock heating mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-129
Number of pages19
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1989


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