A&A 433, 335-347 (2005)
Extrapolation of a nonlinear force-free field containing a highly twisted magnetic loopG. Valori1, B. Kliem1 and R. Keppens2
1 Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
2 FOM-Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen, PO Box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
(Received 14 September 2004 / Accepted 6 November 2004 )
The stress-and-relax method for the extrapolation of nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic fields from photospheric vector magnetograms is formulated and implemented in a manner analogous to the evolutionary extrapolation method. The technique is applied to a numerically constructed force-free equilibrium that has a simple bipolar structure of the normal field component in the bottom (magnetogram) plane but contains a highly twisted loop and a shear (current) layer, with a smooth but strong variation of the force-free parameter in the magnetogram. A standard linear force-free extrapolation of this magnetogram, using the so-called value, is found to fail in reproducing the twisted loop (or flux rope) and the shear layer; it yields a loop pair instead and the shear is not concentrated in a layer. With the nonlinear extrapolation technique, the given equilibrium is readily reconstructed to a high degree of accuracy if the magnetogram is sufficiently resolved. A parametric study quantifies the requirements on the resolution for a successful nonlinear extrapolation. Permitting magnetic reconnection by a controlled use of resistivity improved the extrapolation at a resolution comparable to the smallest structures in the magnetogram.
Key words: magnetic fields -- magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -- methods: numerical -- Sun: corona
© ESO 2005