Journal Article

Dynamics of the solar tachocline – II. The stratified case

P. Garaud and J.-D. Garaud

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 391, issue 3, pages 1239-1258
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Dynamics of the solar tachocline – II. The stratified case

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We present a detailed numerical study of the Gough & McIntyre model for the solar tachocline. This model explains the uniformity of the rotation profile observed in the bulk of the radiative zone by the presence of a large-scale primordial magnetic field, confined below the tachocline by flows originating from within the convection zone. We attribute the failure of previous numerical attempts at reproducing even qualitatively Gough & McIntyre's idea to the use of inappropriate boundary conditions at the radiative–convective interface. We emphasize the key role of flows downwelling from the convection zone in confining the assumed internal field. We carefully select the range of parameters used in the simulations to guarantee a faithful representation of the hierarchy of expected length-scales. We then present, for the first time, a fully non-linear and self-consistent numerical solution of the Gough & McIntyre model which qualitatively satisfies the following set of observational constraints: (i) the quenching of the large-scale differential rotation below the tachocline – including in the polar regions – as seen by helioseismology (ii) the confinement of the large-scale meridional flows to the uppermost layers of the radiative zone as required by observed light element abundances and suggested by helioseismic sound-speed data.

Keywords: MHD; Sun: interior; Sun: magnetic fields; Sun: rotation

Journal Article.  14940 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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