Speed of meridional flows and magnetic flux transport on the sun

Michal Švanda, Alexander G. Kosovichev, Junwei Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We use the magnetic butterfly diagram to determine the speed of the magnetic flux transport on the solar surface toward the poles. The manifestation of the flux transport is clearly visible as elongated structures extended from the sunspot belt to the polar regions. The slopes of these structures are measured and interpreted as meridional magnetic flux transport speed. Comparison with the time-distance helioseismology measurements of the mean speed of the meridional flows at a depth of 3.5-12 Mm shows a generally good agreement, but the speeds of the flux transport and the meridional flow are significantly different in areas occupied by the magnetic field. The local circulation flows around active regions, especially the strong equatorward flows on the equatorial side of active regions, affect the mean velocity profile derived by helioseismology but do not influence the magnetic flux transport. The results show that the mean longitudinally averaged meridional flow measurements by helioseismology may not be used directly in solar dynamo models for describing the magnetic flux transport, and that it is necessary to take into account the longitudinal structure of these flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L69-L72
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: atmospheric motions
  • Sun: magnetic fields


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