Solar Physics

, Volume 254, Issue 2, pp 345–355 | Cite as

Grand Minima of Solar Activity and the Mean-Field Dynamo

  • I. G. UsoskinEmail author
  • D. Sokoloff
  • D. Moss


We demonstrate that a simple solar dynamo model, in the form of a Parker migratory dynamo with random fluctuations of the dynamo governing parameters and algebraic saturation of dynamo action, can at least qualitatively reproduce all the basic features of solar Grand Minima as they are known from direct and indirect data. In particular, the model successfully reproduces such features as an abrupt transition into a Grand Minimum and the subsequent gradual recovery of solar activity, as well as mixed-parity butterfly diagrams during the epoch of the Grand Minimum. The model predicts that the cycle survives in some form during a Grand Minimum, as well as the relative stability of the cycle inside and outside of a Grand Minimum. The long-term statistics of simulated Grand Minima appears compatible with the phenomenology of the Grand Minima inferred from the cosmogenic isotope data. We demonstrate that such ability to reproduce the Grand Minima phenomenology is not a general feature of the dynamo models but requires some specific assumption, such as random fluctuations in dynamo governing parameters. In general, we conclude that a relatively simple and straightforward model is able to reproduce the Grand Minima phenomenology remarkably well, in principle providing us with a possibility of studying the physical nature of Grand Minima.


Magnetic fields Stars: late-type Stars: magnetic fields Sun: activity Sun: magnetic fields 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (Oulu Unit)University of OuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  3. 3.School of MathematicsUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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