Hydrodynamic Simulation of a Nanoflare‐heated Multistrand Solar Atmospheric Loop

Sarkar, Aveek and Walsh, Robert William orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1025-9863 (2008) Hydrodynamic Simulation of a Nanoflare‐heated Multistrand Solar Atmospheric Loop. The Astrophysical Journal, 683 (1). pp. 516-526. ISSN 0004-637X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/589552


There is a growing body of evidence that the plasma loops seen with current instrumentation (SOHO, TRACE and Hinode) may consist of many sub-resolution elements or strands. Thus, the overall plasma evolution we observe in these features could be the cumulative result of numerous individual strands undergoing sporadic heating. This paper presents a short (10^9 cm ~ 10 Mm) ``global loop'' as 125 individual strands where each strand is modelled independently by a one-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation. The energy release mechanism across the strands consists of localised, discrete heating events (nano-flares). The strands are ``coupled'' together through the frequency distribution of the total energy input to the loop which follows a power law distribution with index alpha. The location and lifetime of each energy event occurring is random. Although a typical strand can go through a series of well-defined heating/cooling cycles, when the strands are combined, the overall quasi-static emission measure weighted thermal profile for the global loop reproduces a hot apex/cool base structure. Localised cool plasma blobs are seen to travel along individual strands which could cause the loop to `disappear' from coronal emission and appear in transition or chromospheric ones. As alpha increases (from 0 to 2.29 to 3.29), more weight is given to the smallest heating episodes. Consequently, the overall global loop apex temperature increases while the variation of the temperature around that value decreases. Any further increase in alpha saturates the loop apex temperature variations at the current simulation resolution. The effect of increasing the number of strands and the loop length as well as the implications of these results upon possible future observing campaigns for TRACE and Hinode are discussed.

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