Anisotropic viscous dissipation in transient reconnecting plasmas
Department of Mathematics, University of Waikato, P. B. 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 8 March 2010
Aims. We examine the global energy losses associated with reconnecting coronal plasmas.
Methods. Using planar magnetic reconnection simulations we compute resistive and bulk viscous losses in transient coronal plasmas. Resistive scalings are computed for the case of incompressible reconnection powered by large scale vortical flows. These results are contrasted with an example of magnetic merging driven by the coalescence instability.
Results. We demonstrate that the large scale advective flows, required to sustain resistive current sheets, may be associated with viscous losses approaching flare-like rates of 1029 erg s-1 . More generally, bulk viscous dissipation appears likely to dominate resistive dissipation for a wide variety of magnetic merging models. We emphasize that these results have potentially important implications for understanding the flare energy budget.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: flares / magnetic fields
© ESO, 2010