Flux canceling in three-dimensional radiative magnetohydrodynamic simulations
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
2 Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics, Schöneckstraße 6, 79104 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Received: 28 February 2014
Accepted: 3 February 2017
We aim to study the processes involved in the disappearance of magnetic flux between regions of opposite polarity on the solar surface using realistic three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations. “Retraction” below the surface driven by magnetic forces is found to be a very effective mechanism of flux canceling of opposite polarities. The speed at which flux disappears increases strongly with initial mean flux density. In agreement with existing inferences from observations we suggest that this is a key process of flux disappearance within active complexes. Intrinsic kG strength concentrations connect the surface to deeper layers by magnetic forces, and therefore the influence of deeper layers on the flux canceling process is studied. We do this by comparing simulations extending to different depths. For average flux densities of 50 G, and on length scales on the order of 3 Mm in the horizontal and 10 Mm in depth, deeper layers appear to have only a mild influence on the effective rate of diffusion.
Key words: Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: photosphere / Sun: granulation
© ESO, 2017