Helioseismic inferences on subsurface solar convection

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Helioseismology has provided robust estimates of global properties of the solar convection zone, its depth, stratification, and revealed rotational shear layers at the boundaries. New methods of local helioseismology provide 3D maps of subsurface convective flows. In the quiet Sun regions, these maps reveal that supergranular-scale convection extends to the depth of 1215 Mm. Analysis of evolution of the supergranular convection pattern shows evidence for a wave-like behavior which might be related to the interaction between convection and the subsurface rotational sheer layer. Helioseismology also reveals large-scale circulation flows around magnetic regions. These flows affect the evolution of the mean meridional flow during the solar cycle and, probably, the magnetic flux transport from mid-latitudes to the polar regions, a process important for solar dynamo theories. Helioseismic measurements on a smaller scale, below sunspots, give insight on how convection interacts with strong magnetic fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Issue numberS239
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Convection
  • Sun: helioseismology
  • Sun: rotation


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