Link between trees of fragmenting granules and deep downflows in MHD simulation⋆
Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, CNES, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
2 Observatoire de Paris, LESIA, 5 Place Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
3 PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, Univ. Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, France
4 Physics and Astronomy Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
5 Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, 3251 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA
Accepted: 20 December 2018
Context. Trees of fragmenting granules (TFG) and associated flows are suspected to play a major role in the formation of the network in the quiet Sun. We investigate the counterparts, in terms of dynamics, of surface structures detectable by high resolution observations in deeper layers up to 15 Mm, which are only available from numerical simulations.
Aims. The first aim is to demonstrate that TFG can be evidenced either from surface intensitites, vertical (Vz), or Doppler (Vdop) velocities. The second is to show that horizontal flows, which are derived from intensities or Vz/Vdop flows, are in good agreement, and that this is the case for observations and numerical simulations. The third objective is to apply this new Vz-based method to a 3D simulation to probe relationships between horizontal surface flows, TFG, and deep vertical motions.
Methods. The TFG were detected after oscillation filtering of intensities or Vz/Vdop flows, using a segmentation and labelling technique. Surface horizontal flows were derived from local correlation tracking (LCT) and from intensities or Vz/Vdop flows. These methods were applied to Hinode observations, 2D surface results of a first simulation, and 3D Vz data of a second simulation.
Results. We find that TFG and horizontal surface flows (provided by the LCT) can be detected either from intensities or Vz/Vdop component, for high resolution observations and numerical simulations. We apply this method to a 3D run providing the Vz component in depth. This reveals a close relationship between surface TFG (5 Mm mesoscale) and vertical downflows 5 Mm below the surface. We suggest that the dynamics of TFG form larger scales (the 15–20 Mm supergranulation) associated with 15 Mm downflowing cells below the surface.
Conclusions. The TFG and associated surface flows seem to be essential to understanding the formation and evolution of the network at the meso and supergranular scale.
Key words: Sun: photosphere / Sun: granulation / Sun: interior
Movies associated to Figs. 3, 11, 12, and 14 are availabe at https://www.aanda.org
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