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Interchange Reconnection Alfvén Wave Generation

Abstract

Given recent observational results of interchange reconnection processes in the solar corona and the theoretical development of the S-Web model for the slow solar wind, we extend the analysis of the 3D MHD simulation of interchange reconnection by Edmondson et al. (Astrophys. J. 707, 1427, 2009). Specifically, we analyze the consequences of the dynamic streamer-belt jump that corresponds to flux opening by interchange reconnection. Information about the magnetic field restructuring by interchange reconnection is carried throughout the system by Alfvén waves propagating away from the reconnection region, distributing the shear and twist imparted by the driving flows, including shedding the injected stress-energy and accumulated magnetic helicity along newly open fieldlines. We quantify the properties of the reconnection-generated wave activity in the simulation. There is a localized high-frequency component associated with the current sheet/reconnection site and an extended low-frequency component associated with the large-scale torsional Alfvén wave generated from the interchange reconnection field restructuring. The characteristic wavelengths of the torsional Alfvén wave reflect the spatial size of the energized bipolar flux region. Lastly, we discuss avenues of future research by modeling these interchange reconnection-driven waves and investigating their observational signatures.

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Acknowledgements

B.J. Lynch and Y. Li acknowledge support from the AFOSR YIP FA9550-11-1-0048, NASA HTP NNX11AJ65G, and HGI NNX08AJ04G. J.K. Edmondson acknowledges support NASA LWS NNX10AU57G and NNX07AB99G.

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Correspondence to B. J. Lynch.

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Lynch, B.J., Edmondson, J.K. & Li, Y. Interchange Reconnection Alfvén Wave Generation. Sol Phys 289, 3043–3058 (2014) doi:10.1007/s11207-014-0506-x

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Keywords

  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Magnetic fields, corona
  • Magnetic reconnection, theory
  • Solar wind
  • Waves, magnetohydrodynamic