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Influence of non-potential coronal magnetic topology on solar-wind models.

Edwards, S. J. and Yeates, A. R. and Bocquet, F.-X. and Mackay, D. H. (2015) 'Influence of non-potential coronal magnetic topology on solar-wind models.', Solar physics., 290 (10). pp. 2791-2808.


By comparing a magneto-frictional model of the low-coronal magnetic-field to a potential-field source-surface model, we investigate the possible impact of non-potential magnetic structure on empirical solar-wind models. These empirical models (such as Wang–Sheeley–Arge) estimate the distribution of solar-wind speed solely from the magnetic-field structure in the low corona. Our models are computed in a domain between the solar surface and 2.5 solar radii, and they are extended to 0.1 AU using a Schatten current-sheet model. The non-potential field has a more complex magnetic skeleton and quasi-separatrix structures than the potential field, leading to different sub-structure in the solar-wind speed proxies. It contains twisted magnetic structures that can perturb the separatrix surfaces traced down from the base of the heliospheric current sheet. A significant difference between the models is the greater amount of open magnetic flux in the non-potential model. Using existing empirical formulae this leads to higher predicted wind speeds for two reasons: partly because magnetic-flux tubes expand less rapidly with height, but more importantly because more open-field lines are further from coronal-hole boundaries.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Corona, models, Magnetic fields, corona, Magnetic fields, interplanetary, Magnetic fields, models, Solar wind, theory.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:The final publication is available at Springer via
Date accepted:28 September 2015
Date deposited:23 November 2015
Date of first online publication:28 October 2015
Date first made open access:28 October 2016

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