Supergranulation Scale Convection Simulations

Robert F. Stein, Dali Georgobiani, Werner Schafenberger, Åke Nordlund, David Benson, Eric Stempels
2009 AIP Conference Proceedings  
Results of realistic simulations of solar surface convection on the scale of supergranules (96 Mm wide by 20 Mm deep) are presented. The simulations cover only 10% of the geometric depth of the solar convection zone, but half its pressure scale heights. They include the hydrogen, first and most of the second helium ionization zones. The horizontal velocity spectrum is a power law and the horizontal size of the dominant convective cells increases with increasing depth. Convection is driven by
more » ... ion is driven by buoyancy work which is largest close to the surface, but significant over the entire domain. Close to the surface buoyancy driving is balanced by the divergence of the kinetic energy flux, but deeper down it is balanced by dissipation. The damping length of the turbulent kinetic energy is 4 pressure scale heights. The mass mixing length is 1.8 scale heights. Two thirds of the area is upflowing fluid except very close to the surface. The internal (ionization) energy flux is the largest contributor to the convective flux for temperatures less than 40,000 K and the thermal energy flux is the largest contributor at higher temperatures. This data set is useful for validating local helioseismic inversion methods. Sixteen hours of data are available as four hour averages, with two hour cadence, at steinr.msu.edu/∼bob/96averages, as idl save files. The variables stored are the density, temperature, sound speed, and three velocity components. In addition, the three velocity components at 200 km above mean continuum optical depth unity are available at 30 sec. cadence.
doi:10.1063/1.3099227 fatcat:2yhpnitnunahbdlzgzam6oy2au