The thermal continuum in coronal loops - The influence of finite resistivity on the continuous spectrum

R. C. Ireland, R. A. M. van der Linden, A. W. Hood, M. Goossens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The normal mode spectrum for the linearized MHD equations is investigated for a cylindrical equilibrium. This spectrum is examined for zero perpendicular thermal conduction, with both zero and non-zero scalar resistivity. Particular attention is paid to the continuous branches of this spectrum, or continuous spectra. For zero resistivity there are three types of continuous spectra present, namely the Alfven, slow, and thermal continua. It is shown that when dissipation due to resistivity is included, the slow and Alfven continua are removed and that the thermal continuum is shifted to a different position (where the shift is independent of the exact value of resistivity). The 'old' location of the thermal continuum is covered by a dense set of nearly singular discrete modes called a quasi-continuum. The quasi-continuum is investigated numerically, and the eigenfunctions are shown to have rapid spatial oscillating behavior. These oscillations are confined to the most unstable part of the equilibrium based on the Field criterion, and may be the cause of fine structure in prominences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-289
JournalSolar Physics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1992


  • Coronal Loops
  • Magnetohydrodynamic Waves
  • Solar Corona
  • Solar Prominences
  • Thermal Conductivity
  • Chromosphere
  • Fine Structure
  • Solar Temperature


Dive into the research topics of 'The thermal continuum in coronal loops - The influence of finite resistivity on the continuous spectrum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this