Solar Physics

, Volume 291, Issue 1, pp 187–209 | Cite as

Energy Release in Driven Twisted Coronal Loops

  • M. R. Bareford
  • M. Gordovskyy
  • P. K. Browning
  • A. W. Hood


We investigate magnetic reconnection in twisted magnetic fluxtubes, representing coronal loops. The main goal is to establish the influence of the field geometry and various thermodynamic effects on the stability of twisted fluxtubes and on the size and distribution of heated regions. In particular, we aim to investigate to what extent the earlier idealised models, based on the initially cylindrically symmetric fluxtubes, are different from more realistic models, including the large-scale curvature, atmospheric stratification, thermal conduction and other effects. In addition, we compare the roles of Ohmic heating and shock heating in energy conversion during magnetic reconnection in twisted loops. The models with straight fluxtubes show similar distribution of heated plasma during the reconnection: it initially forms a helical shape, which subsequently becomes very fragmented. The heating in these models is rather uniformly distributed along fluxtubes. At the same time, the hot plasma regions in curved loops are asymmetric and concentrated close to the loop tops. Large-scale curvature has a destabilising influence: less twist is needed for instability. Footpoint convergence normally delays the instability slightly, although in some cases, converging fluxtubes can be less stable. Finally, introducing a stratified atmosphere gives rise to decaying wave propagation, which has a destabilising effect.


Corona Instabilities Magnetic fields Magnetohydrodynamics 



This work is funded by Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK). The simulations were run on the UK MHD Consortium cluster based in St Andrews and on the COSMA Data Centric system at Durham University. The latter is operated by the Institute for Computational Cosmology on behalf of the STFC DiRAC HPC Facility ( ). This equipment was funded by a BIS National E-Infrastructure capital grant ST/K00042X/1, DiRAC Operations grant ST/K003267/1 and Durham University. DiRAC is part of the National E-Infrastructure.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. R. Bareford
    • 1
  • M. Gordovskyy
    • 2
  • P. K. Browning
    • 2
  • A. W. Hood
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK
  2. 2.School of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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