Volume 642, October 2020
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||19 October 2020|
Effect of latitudinal differential rotation on solar Rossby waves: Critical layers, eigenfunctions, and momentum fluxes in the equatorial β plane
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 Institut für Astrophysik, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3 Center for Space Science, NYUAD Institute, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE
4 Ilia State University, Kakutsa Cholokashvili Ave. 3/5, Tbilisi, 0162, Georgia
5 Evgeni Kharadze Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory, Abastumani, Adigeni, 0301, Georgia
Accepted: 11 August 2020
Context. Retrograde-propagating waves of vertical vorticity with longitudinal wavenumbers between 3 and 15 have been observed on the Sun with a dispersion relation close to that of classical sectoral Rossby waves. The observed vorticity eigenfunctions are symmetric in latitude, peak at the equator, switch sign near 20°–30°, and decrease at higher latitudes.
Aims. We search for an explanation that takes solar latitudinal differential rotation into account.
Methods. In the equatorial β plane, we studied the propagation of linear Rossby waves (phase speed c < 0) in a parabolic zonal shear flow, U = − U̅ ξ2 < 0, where U̅ = 244 m s−1, and ξ is the sine of latitude.
Results. In the inviscid case, the eigenvalue spectrum is real and continuous, and the velocity stream functions are singular at the critical latitudes where U = c. We add eddy viscosity to the problem to account for wave attenuation. In the viscous case, the stream functions solve a fourth-order modified Orr-Sommerfeld equation. Eigenvalues are complex and discrete. For reasonable values of the eddy viscosity corresponding to supergranular scales and above (Reynolds number 100 ≤ Re ≤ 700), all modes are stable. At fixed longitudinal wavenumber, the least damped mode is a symmetric mode whose real frequency is close to that of the classical Rossby mode, which we call the R mode. For Re ≈ 300, the attenuation and the real part of the eigenfunction is in qualitative agreement with the observations (unlike the imaginary part of the eigenfunction, which has a larger amplitude in the model).
Conclusions. Each longitudinal wavenumber is associated with a latitudinally symmetric R mode trapped at low latitudes by solar differential rotation. In the viscous model, R modes transport significant angular momentum from the dissipation layers toward the equator.
Key words: hydrodynamics / waves / turbulence / Sun: rotation / Sun: interior / Sun: oscillations
© L. Gizon et al. 2020
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Open Access funding provided by Max Planck Society.
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