Local helioseismology of sunspot regions: Comparison of ring-diagram and time-distance results

A. G. Kosovichev, S. Basu, R. Bogart, T. L. Duvall, I. Gonzalez-Hernandez, D. Haber, T. Hartlep, R. Howe, R. Komm, S. Kholikov, K. V. Parchevsky, S. Tripathy, J. Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Local helioseismology provides unique information about the subsurface structure and dynamics of sunspots and active regions. However, because of complexity of sunspot regions local helioseismology diagnostics require careful analysis of systematic uncertainties and physical interpretation of the inversion results. We present new results of comparison of the ring-diagram analysis and time-distance helioseismology for active region NOAA 9787, for which a previous comparison showed significant differences in the subsurface sound-speed structure, and discuss systematic uncertainties of the measurements and inversions. Our results show that both the ring-diagram and time-distance techniques give qualitatively similar results, revealing a characteristic two-layer seismic sound-speed structure consistent with the results for other active regions. However, a quantitative comparison of the inversion results is not straightforward. It must take into account differences in the sensitivity, spatial resolution and the averaging kernels. In particular, because of the acoustic power suppression, the contribution of the sunspot seismic structure to the ring-diagram signal can be substantially reduced. We show that taking into account this effect reduces the difference in the depth of transition between the negative and positive sound-speed variations inferred by these methods. Further detailed analysis of the sensitivity, resolution and averaging properties of the local helioseismology methods is necessary for consolidation of the inversion results. It seems to be important that both methods indicate that the seismic structure of sunspots is rather deep and extends to at least 20 Mm below the surface, putting constraints on theoretical models of sunspots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012005
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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