Volume 607, November 2017
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Published online||17 November 2017|
Parameter optimization for surface flux transport models
1 Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
2 Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut St #300, Boulder, CO 80302, USA
3 National Solar Observatory, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
Received: 23 February 2017
Accepted: 28 July 2017
Accurate prediction of solar activity calls for precise calibration of solar cycle models. Consequently we aim to find optimal parameters for models which describe the physical processes on the solar surface, which in turn act as proxies for what occurs in the interior and provide source terms for coronal models. We use a genetic algorithm to optimize surface flux transport models using National Solar Observatory (NSO) magnetogram data for Solar Cycle 23. This is applied to both a 1D model that inserts new magnetic flux in the form of idealized bipolar magnetic regions, and also to a 2D model that assimilates specific shapes of real active regions. The genetic algorithm searches for parameter sets (meridional flow speed and profile, supergranular diffusivity, initial magnetic field, and radial decay time) that produce the best fit between observed and simulated butterfly diagrams, weighted by a latitude-dependent error structure which reflects uncertainty in observations. Due to the easily adaptable nature of the 2D model, the optimization process is repeated for Cycles 21, 22, and 24 in order to analyse cycle-to-cycle variation of the optimal solution. We find that the ranges and optimal solutions for the various regimes are in reasonable agreement with results from the literature, both theoretical and observational. The optimal meridional flow profiles for each regime are almost entirely within observational bounds determined by magnetic feature tracking, with the 2D model being able to accommodate the mean observed profile more successfully. Differences between models appear to be important in deciding values for the diffusive and decay terms. In like fashion, differences in the behaviours of different solar cycles lead to contrasts in parameters defining the meridional flow and initial field strength.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: activity / Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: photosphere
© ESO, 2017
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