Magnetohydrodynamics modeling of coronal magnetic field and solar eruptions based on the photospheric magnetic field

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In this paper, we summarize current progress on using the observed magnetic fields for magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) modeling of the coronal magnetic field and of solar eruptions, including solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Unfortunately, even with the existing state-of-the-art solar physics satellites, only the photospheric magnetic field can be measured. We first review the 3D extrapolation of the coronal magnetic fields from measurements of the photospheric field. Specifically, we focus on the nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) approximation extrapolated from the three components of the photospheric magnetic field. On the other hand, because in the force-free approximation the NLFFF is reconstructed for equilibrium states, the onset and dynamics of solar flares and CMEs cannot be obtained from these calculations. Recently, MHD simulations using the NLFFF as an initial condition have been proposed for understanding these dynamics in a more realistic scenario. These results have begun to reveal complex dynamics, some of which have not been inferred from previous simulations of hypothetical situations, and they have also successfully reproduced some observed phenomena. Although MHD simulations play a vital role in explaining a number of observed phenomena, there still remains much to be understood. Herein, we review the results obtained by state-of-the-art MHD modeling combined with the NLFFF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalProgress in Earth and Planetary Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Corona
  • Coronal mass ejection (CME)
  • Magnetic field
  • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Photosphere
  • Solar active region
  • Solar flare
  • Sun


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