Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of flows around rotating and non-rotating axisymmetric magnetic flux concentrations

T. Hartlep, F. H. Busse, N. E. Hurlburt, A. G. Kosovichev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We present results on modelling magnetic flux tubes in an unstably stratified medium and the flows around them using 2D axisymmetric magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations. The study is motivated by the formation of magnetic field concentrations at the solar surface in sunspots and magnetic pores and the large-scale flow patterns associated with them. The simulations provide consistent, self-maintained models of concentrated magnetic field in a convective environment, although they are not fully realistic or directly applicable to the solar case. In this paper, we explore under which conditions the associated flows near the surface are converging (towards the spot centre) or diverging (away from the axis) in nature. It is found that, depending on the parameters of the problem, the results can depend on the initial conditions, in particular for zero or low rotation rates and Prandtl numbers smaller than unity. The solutions with a converging flow generally produce more strongly confined magnetic flux tubes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2325-2328
Number of pages4
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • MHD
  • Magnetic fields
  • Methods: numerical
  • Sunspots


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