Nonlinear slow magnetoacoustic waves in coronal plasma structures
1 Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Warwick, CV4 7AL, UK
2 Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics SB RAS, PO Box 291, Lermontov St. 126A, 664033 Irkutsk, Russia
3 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, 446-701 Yongin, Gyeonggi, Korea
4 Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 196140 St Petersburg, Russia
Received: 2 July 2014
Accepted: 22 October 2014
Context. There is abundant observational evidence of longitudinal waves in the plasma structures of the solar corona. These essentially compressive waves are confidently interpreted as slow magnetoacoustic waves. The use of the slow waves in plasma diagnostics and estimating their possible contribution to plasma heating and acceleration require detailed theoretical modelling.
Aims. We investigate the role of obliqueness and magnetic effects in the evolution of slow magnetoacoustic waves, also called tube waves, in field-aligned plasma structures. Special attention is paid to the wave damping caused by nonlinear steepening.
Methods. We considered an untwisted straight axisymmetric field-aligned plasma cylinder and analysed the behaviour of the slow magnetoacoustic waves that are guided by this plasma structure. We adopted a thin flux tube approximation. We took into account dissipation caused by viscosity, resistivity and thermal conduction, and nonlinearity. Effects of stratification and dispersion caused by the finite radius of the flux tube were neglected.
Results. We derive the Burgers-type evolutionary equation for tube waves in a uniform plasma cylinder. Compared with a plane acoustic wave, the formation of shock fronts in tube waves is found to occur at a larger distance from the source. In addition, tube waves experience stronger damping. These effects are most pronounced in plasmas with the parameter β at about or greater than unity. In a low-β plasma, the evolution of tube waves can satisfactorily be described with the Burgers equation for plane acoustic waves.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: corona / waves / methods: analytical
© ESO, 2014