Evolution of Subsurface Zonal and Meridional Flows in Solar Cycle 24 from Helioseismological Data

Alexander V. Getling, Alexander G. Kosovichev, Junwei Zhao

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The results of determinations of the azimuthal and meridional velocities by time-distance helioseismology from Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board Solar Dynamics Observatory from 2010 May to 2020 September at latitudes and Stonyhurst longitudes from-60° to + 60° and depths to about 19 Mm below the photosphere are used to analyze spatiotemporal variations of the solar differential rotation and meridional circulation. The pattern of torsional oscillations, or latitudinal belts of alternating "fast"and "slow"zonal flows migrating from high latitudes toward the equator, is found to extend in the time-latitude diagrams over the whole time interval. The oscillation period is comparable with a doubled solar-activity-cycle and can be described as an extended solar cycle. The zonal-velocity variations are related to the solar-activity level, the local-velocity increases corresponding to the sunspot-number increases and being localized at latitudes where the strongest magnetic fields are recorded. The dramatic growth of the zonal velocities in 2018 appears to be a precursor of the beginning of Solar Cycle 25. The strong symmetrization of the zonal-velocity field by 2020 can be considered another precursor. The general pattern of poleward meridional flows is modulated by latitudinal variations similar to the extended-solar-cycle behavior of the zonal flows. During the activity maximum, these variations are superposed with a higher harmonic corresponding to meridional flows converging to the spot-formation latitudes. Our results indicate that variations of both the zonal and meridional flows exhibit the extended-solar-cycle behavior, which is an intrinsic feature of the solar dynamo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL50
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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