The effect of Kelvin- Helmholtz instability on rising flux tubes in the convection zone

D'Silva, Sydney Z. ; Rai Choudhuri, Arnab (1991) The effect of Kelvin- Helmholtz instability on rising flux tubes in the convection zone Solar Physics, 136 (2). pp. 201-219. ISSN 0038-0938

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If the solar dynamo operates at the bottom of the convection zone, then the magnetic flux created there has to rise to the surface. When the convection zone is regarded as passive, the rising flux is deflected by the Coriolis force to emerge at rather high latitudes, poleward of typical sunspot zones (Choudhuri and Gilman, 1987; Choudhuri, 1989). Choudhuri and D'Silva (1990) included the effects of convective turbulence on the rising flux through (a) giant cell drag and (b) momentum exchange by small-scale turbulence. The momentum exchange mechanism could enable flux tubes of radii not more than a few hundred km to emerge radially at low latitudes, but the giant cell drag mechanism required unrealistically small flux tube radii (a few meters for a reasonable giant cell upflow) to counteract the Coriolis force. We now include the additional effect of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in a symmetrical flux ring caused by the azimuthal flow induced during its rise. The azimuthal flow crosses the threshold for the instability only if there is a giant cell upflow to drag the flux tubes appreciably. In the absence of such a drag, as in the case of a passive convection zone or in the case of momentum exchange by small-scale turbulence, the azimuthal velocity never becomes large enough to cause the instability, leaving the results of the previous calculations unaltered. The giant cell drag, aided by Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, however, becomes now a viable mechanism for curbing the Coriolis force - 104 G flux tubes with radii of a few hundred km being dragged radially by upflows of 70 m s−1.

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