Propagation of alfvenic waves from corona to chromosphere and consequences for solar flares

A. J. B. Russell, L. Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


How do magnetohydrodynamic waves travel from the fully ionized corona, into and through the underlying partially ionized chromosphere, and what are the consequences for solar flares? To address these questions, we have developed a two-fluid model (of plasma and neutrals) and used it to perform one-dimensional simulations of Alfven waves in a solar atmosphere with realistic density and temperature structure. Studies of a range of solar features (faculae, plage, penumbra, and umbra) show that energy transmission from corona to chromosphere can exceed 20% of incident energy for wave periods of 1 s or less. Damping of waves in the chromosphere depends strongly on wave frequency: waves with periods 10 s or longer pass through the chromosphere with relatively little damping, however, for periods of 1 s or less, a substantial fraction (37%-100%) of wave energy entering the chromosphere is damped by ion-neutral friction in the mid-and upper chromosphere, with electron resistivity playing some role in the lower chromosphere and in umbras. We therefore conclude that Alfvenic waves with periods of a few seconds or less are capable of heating the chromosphere during solar flares, and speculate that they could also contribute to electron acceleration or exciting sunquakes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2013


  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • plasmas
  • Sun: chromosphere
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: flares
  • waves


Dive into the research topics of 'Propagation of alfvenic waves from corona to chromosphere and consequences for solar flares'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this