Turbulence in the solar atmosphere and solarwind

A. Petrosyan*, A. Balogh, M. L. Goldstein, J. Léorat, E. Marsch, K. Petrovay, B. Roberts, R. Von Steiger, J. C. Vial

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this review article is to critically analyze turbulence and its role in the solar atmosphere and solar wind, as well as to provide a tutorial overview of topics worth clarification. Although turbulence is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the sun and its heliosphere, many open questions exist concerning the physical mechanisms of turbulence generation in solar environment. Also, the spatial and temporal evolution of the turbulence in the solar atmosphere and solar wind are still poorly understood. We limit the scope of this paper (leaving out the solar interior and convection zone) to the magnetized plasma that reaches from the photosphere and chromosphere upwards to the corona and inner heliosphere, and place particular emphasis on the magnetic field structures and fluctuations and their role in the dynamics and radiation of the coronal plasma. To attract the attention of scientists from both the fluid-dynamics and space-science communities we give in the first two sections a phenomenological overview of turbulence-related processes, in the context of solar and heliospheric physics and with emphasis on the photosphere-corona connection and the coupling between the solar corona and solar wind. We also discuss the basic tools and standard concepts for the empirical analysis and theoretical description of turbulence. The last two sections of this paper give a concise review of selected aspects of oscillations and waves in the solar atmosphere and related fluctuations in the solar wind. We conclude with some recommendations and suggest topics for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-238
Number of pages104
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Cascading and scaling
  • Models of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence
  • Numerical simulations of turbulence
  • Observations and models of intermittency
  • Observations of turbulence in the solar corona and solar wind
  • Turbulence in the sun and heliosphere


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