High-order shock-capturing methods for modeling dynamics of the solar atmosphere

Steve Bryson, Alexander Kosovichev, Doron Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We use one-dimensional high-order central shock-capturing numerical methods to study the response of various model solar atmospheres to forcing at the solar surface. The dynamics of the atmosphere is modeled with the Euler equations in a variable-sized flux tube in the presence of gravity. We study dynamics of the atmosphere suggestive of spicule formation and coronal oscillations. These studies are performed on observationally derived model atmospheres above the quiet sun and above sunspots. To perform these simulations, we provide a new extension of existing second- and third-order shock-capturing methods to irregular grids. We also solve the problem of numerically maintaining initial hydrostatic balance via the introduction of new variables in the model equations and a careful initialization mechanism. We find several striking results: all model atmospheres respond to a single impulsive perturbation with several strong shock waves consistent with the rebound-shock model. These shock waves lift material and the transition region well into the initial corona, and the sensitivity of this lift to the initial impulse depends nonlinearly on the details of the atmosphere model. We also reproduce an observed 3 min coronal oscillation above sunspots as well as 5 min oscillations above the quiet sun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Balance laws
  • Conservation laws
  • Coronal oscillations
  • High-order central-upwind schemes
  • Rebound-shock models
  • Source terms
  • Spicules


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