Horizontal Flows in the Photosphere and Subphotosphere of Two Active Regions

Abstract

We compare horizontal flow fields in the photosphere and in the subphotosphere (a layer 0.5 Mm below the photosphere) in two solar active regions: AR 11084 and AR 11158. AR 11084 is a mature, simple active region without significant flaring activity, and AR 11158 is a multipolar, complex active region with magnetic flux emerging during the period studied. Flows in the photosphere are derived by applying the Differential Affine Velocity Estimator for Vector Magnetograms (DAVE4VM) on HMI-observed vector magnetic fields, and the subphotospheric flows are inferred by time–distance helioseismology using HMI-observed Dopplergrams. Similar flow patterns are found for both layers for AR 11084: inward flows in the sunspot umbra and outward flows surrounding the sunspot. The boundary between the inward and outward flows, which is slightly different in the photosphere and the subphotosphere, is within the sunspot penumbra. The area having inward flows in the subphotosphere is larger than that in the photosphere. For AR 11158, flows in these two layers show great similarities in some areas and significant differences in other areas. Both layers exhibit consistent outward flows in the areas surrounding sunspots. On the other hand, most well-documented flux-emergence-related flow features seen in the photosphere do not have counterparts in the subphotosphere. This implies that the horizontal flows caused by flux emergence do not extend deeply into the subsurface.

Keywords

Solar active regions, photosphere and subphotosphere Solar active regions, flows 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.W.W. Hansen Experimental Physics LaboratoryStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Solar Physics LaboratoryNASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

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