Numerical modelling of 3D reconnection
II. Comparison between rotational and spinning footpoint motions
School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland e-mail: email@example.com
2 Niels Bohr Institute, Julie Maries vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Accepted: 21 July 2006
The coronal magnetic field is constantly subjected to a variety of photospheric, footpoint motions, leading to the build up, and subsequent release, of magnetic energy. Two different types of footpoint motions are considered here, namely (large scale) rotating and (small scale) spinning, using 3D numerical MHD simulations. The initial model consists of two aligned, thin flux tubes, which are forced to interact due to the boundary driving of the footpoints. Two variations of this setup are studied, namely with and without an additional, constant, background magnetic field. The nature of the boundary motions determines the shape of the central current sheet, the driving force of the reconnection process, as well as the efficiency of the build up of quasi-separatrix layers (when ). The reconnection process is more efficient for the rotating of the flux sources and when a background magnetic field is added. In general, heating due to large and small scale motions is of comparable magnitude when no background field is present. However, with an additional background magnetic field, heating due to small scale footpoint motions seems substantially more efficient.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: corona / Sun: activity / Sun: magnetic fields
© ESO, 2006