Seismology of contracting and expanding coronal loops using damping of kink oscillations by mode coupling

D. J. Pascoe (Lead / Corresponding author), A. J. B. Russell, S. A. Anfinogentov, P. J. A. Simões, C. R. Goddard, V. M. Nakariakov, L. Fletcher

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Aims: We extend recently developed seismological methods to analyse oscillating loops which feature a large initial shift in the equilibrium position and investigate additional observational signatures related to the loop environment and oscillation driver.

Methods: We model the motion of coronal loops as a kink oscillation damped by mode coupling, accounting for any change in loop length and the possible presence of parallel harmonics in addition to the fundamental mode. We apply our model to a loop which rapidly contracts due to a post-flare implosion (SOL2012-03-09) and a loop with a large lateral displacement (SOL2012-10-20).

Results: The seismological method is used to calculate plasma parameters of the oscillating loops including the transverse density profile, magnetic field strength, and phase mixing timescale. For SOL2012-03-09 the period of oscillation has a linear correlation with the contracting motion and suggests the kink speed remains constant during the oscillation. The implosion excitation mechanism is found to be associated with an absence of additional parallel harmonics.

Conclusions: The improved Bayesian analysis of the coronal loop motion allows for accurate seismology of plasma parameters and the evolution of the period of oscillation compared with the background trend can be used to distinguish between loop motions in the plane of the loop or perpendicular to it. The seismologically inferred kink speed and density contrast imply sub-Alfv´enic (MA 0:16 0:03) propagation of the magnetic reconfiguration associated with the implosion, as opposed to triggering by a wave
propagating at the Alfv´en speed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA8
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2017


  • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Sun: atmosphere
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • Sun: oscillations
  • Waves


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