Effect of the subsurface shear layer on solar supergranulation

C. A. Green, A. G. Kosovichev, M. S. Miesch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Supergranular convective cells on the Sun rotate faster than surface plasma or any other feature. Recent time-distance helioseismology results suggest that supergranulation also has properties of travelling waves. We suggest that these properties may be due to the steep gradient of the subsurface shear layer. We use a linear model to calculate phase speeds of the unstable convective modes. These phase speeds are greater than the speed of the surface plasma; however, they are significantly lower than the observed speed of the supergranular pattern. This suggests that the subsurface shear layer is a plausible explanation for the wave-like behaviour. An alternate suggested explanation is the effect of the Coriolis force. We analyzed the results of a model including solar rotation, and found no evidence of wave-like behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSOHO 18/GONG 2006/HELAS I Beyond the spherical Sun
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventSOHO 18/GONG 2006/HELAS I Beyond the spherical Sun - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: Aug 7 2006Aug 11 2006

Publication series

NameEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Volume624 SP
ISSN (Print)0379-6566


OtherSOHO 18/GONG 2006/HELAS I Beyond the spherical Sun
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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