Volume 625, May 2019
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Published online||22 May 2019|
Constraining non-linear dynamo models using quasi-biennial oscillations from sunspot area data
Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
2 Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
3 Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
4 Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
5 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
6 High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, PO Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA
Accepted: 7 April 2019
Context. Solar magnetic activity exhibits variations with periods between 1.5 and 4 years, the so-called quasi-biennial oscillations (QBOs), in addition to the well-known 11-year Schwabe cycles. Solar dynamo is thought to be the mechanism responsible for the generation of QBOs.
Aims. In this work, we analyse sunspot areas to investigate the spatial and temporal behaviour of the QBO signal and study the physical mechanisms responsible using simulations from fully non-linear mean-field flux-transport dynamos.
Methods. We investigated the behaviour of the QBOs in the sunspot area data for the full disk, and the northern and southern hemispheres, using wavelet and Fourier analyses. We also ran solar dynamos with two different approaches to generating a poloidal field from an existing toroidal field, namely Babcock–Leighton and turbulent α mechanisms. We then studied the simulated magnetic field strengths as well as meridional circulation and differential rotation rates using the same methods.
Results. The results from the sunspot areas show that the QBOs are present in the full disk and hemispheric sunspot areas. These QBOs show slightly different spatial and temporal behaviours, indicating slightly decoupled solar hemispheres. The QBO signal is generally intermittent and in-phase with the sunspot area data, surfacing when the solar activity is at its maximum. The results from the BL-dynamos show that they are neither capable of generating the slightly decoupled behaviour of solar hemispheres nor can they generate QBO-like signals. The turbulent α-dynamos on the other hand generated decoupled hemispheres and some QBO-like shorter cycles.
Conclusions. In conclusion, our simulations show that the turbulent α-dynamos with the Lorentz force seem more efficient in generating the observed temporal and spatial behaviour of the QBO signal compared with the BL-dynamos.
Key words: dynamo / sunspots / Sun: activity / Sun: oscillations
© ESO 2019
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