Differential rotation and meridional flow in the solar supergranulation layer: Measuring the eddy viscosity
Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
2 Department of Mathematics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, PR China
Corresponding author: G. Rüdiger, email@example.com
Accepted: 22 November 2002
We measure the eddy viscosity in the outermost layers of the solar convection zone by comparing the rotation law computed with the Reynolds stress resulting from f-plane simulations of the angular momentum transport in rotating convection with the observed differential rotation pattern. The simulations lead to a negative vertical and a positive horizontal angular momentum transport. The consequence is a subrotation of the outermost layers, as it is indeed indicated both by helioseismology and the observed rotation rates of sunspots. In order to reproduce the observed gradient of the rotation rate, a value of about cm2/s for the eddy viscosity is necessary. Comparison with the magnetic eddy diffusivity derived from the sunspot decay yields a surprisingly large magnetic Prandtl number of 150 for the supergranulation layer. The negative gradient of the rotation rate also drives a surface meridional flow towards the poles, in agreement with the results from Doppler measurements. The successful reproduction of the abnormally positive horizontal cross correlation (on the northern hemisphere) observed for bipolar groups then provides an independent test of the resulting eddy viscosity.
Key words: turbulence / Sun: rotation
© ESO, 2003