Numerical Simulations of the Flux Tube Tectonics Model for Coronal Heating
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In this paper we present results from 3D MHD numerical simulations based on the flux tube tectonics method of coronal heating proposed by Priest, Heyvaerts, and Title (2002). They suggested that individual coronal loops connect to the photosphere in many different magnetic flux fragments and that separatrix surfaces exist between the fingers connecting a loop to the photosphere and between individual loops. Simple lateral motions of the flux fragments could then cause currents to concentrate along the separatrices which may then drive reconnection contributing to coronal heating. Here we have taken a simple configuration with four flux patches on the top and bottom of the numerical domain and a small background axial field. Then we move two of the flux patches on the base between the other two using periodic boundary conditions such that when they leave the box they re-enter it at the other end. This simple motion soon causes current sheets to build up along the quasi-separatrix layers and subsequently magnetic diffusion/reconnection occurs.
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