Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 12, 245–255, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-12-245-2005

Special issue: Advances in space environment turbulence

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 12, 245–255, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-12-245-2005

  09 Feb 2005

09 Feb 2005

Intermittency in MHD turbulence and coronal nanoflares modelling

P. Veltri1, G. Nigro1, F. Malara1, V. Carbone1, and A. Mangeney2 P. Veltri et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria, I-87030 Arcavacata di Rende, Italy
  • 2LESIA – Observatoire de Paris, Section de Meudon 5, place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France

Abstract. High resolution numerical simulations, solar wind data analysis, and measurements at the edges of laboratory plasma devices have allowed for a huge progress in our understanding of MHD turbulence. The high resolution of solar wind measurements has allowed to characterize the intermittency observed at small scales. We are now able to set up a consistent and convincing view of the main properties of MHD turbulence, which in turn constitutes an extremely efficient tool in understanding the behaviour of turbulent plasmas, like those in solar corona, where in situ observations are not available. Using this knowledge a model to describe injection, due to foot-point motions, storage and dissipation of MHD turbulence in coronal loops, is built where we assume strong longitudinal magnetic field, low beta and high aspect ratio, which allows us to use the set of reduced MHD equations (RMHD). The model is based on a shell technique in the wave vector space orthogonal to the strong magnetic field, while the dependence on the longitudinal coordinate is preserved. Numerical simulations show that injected energy is efficiently stored in the loop where a significant level of magnetic and velocity fluctuations is obtained. Nonlinear interactions give rise to an energy cascade towards smaller scales where energy is dissipated in an intermittent fashion. Due to the strong longitudinal magnetic field, dissipative structures propagate along the loop, with the typical speed of the Alfvén waves. The statistical analysis on the intermittent dissipative events compares well with all observed properties of nanoflare emission statistics. Moreover the recent observations of non thermal velocity measurements during flare occurrence are well described by the numerical results of the simulation model. All these results naturally emerge from the model dynamical evolution without any need of an ad-hoc hypothesis.