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Astron. Astrophys. 318, 957-962 (1997)

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Heating of coronal holes by phase mixing

A.W. Hood , J. Ireland and E.R. Priest

School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, KY16 9SS, UK

Received 29 May 1996 / Accepted 22 July 1996


A two-dimensional, analytical, self-similar solution to the Alfvén wave phase mixing equations is presented for a coronal hole model. The solution shows clearly that the damping of the waves with height follows the scaling predicted by Heyvaerts & Priest 1983 at low heights, before switching to an algebraic decay at large heights. The ohmic dissipation is calculated and it is shown that the maximum dissipation occurs at a height that scales with [FORMULA]. However, the total Ohmic dissipation is, of course, independent of the resistivity. Using realistic solar parameters it appears that phase mixing is a viable mechanism for heating the lower corona provided either the frequency of photospheric motions is sufficiently large or the background Alfvén velocity is sufficiently small.

Key words: MHD – waves – Sun: corona

Send offprint requests to: A.W. Hood


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 3, 1998