AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 21. Solar Interior
Oral, Monday, May 31, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Continental Ballroom A

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[21.06] Surface Dynamics of the Solar Granular Flow

D. D. Lenz, F. Cattaneo (U. of Chicago)

Flow patterns on the solar surface can provide insight into the dynamics of the solar convection zone and photosphere. Since basic properties of the solar fluid can be very difficult to observe directly, simulations of solar convection are necessary to explore the interplay between the solar fluid and surface features. We investigate flow dynamics on the surface of a convective fluid and discuss the relationship of the flow patterns to observable characteristics.

Passive floaters advected by the surface velocity field rapidly collect in the downflow lanes. At large times, the floaters collect in quasi-stagnant regions that are long-lived with respect to the granular pattern. We identify this larger, longer-lived pattern with mesogranular flows. The relationship between the mesogranules and the surface distribution of magnetic features is discussed.

This work is supported by NASA SR&T NAG5-4953 and by a TRACE subgrant from Lockheed Martin to the University of Chicago.

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