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Localized plumes in three-dimensional compressible magnetoconvection

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul BushbyORCiD



Within the umbrae of sunspots, convection is generally inhibited by the presence of strong vertical magnetic fields. However, convection is not completely suppressed in these regions: bright features, known as umbral dots, are probably associated with weak, isolated convective plumes. Motivated by observations of umbral dots, we carry out numerical simulations of three-dimensional, compressible magnetoconvection. By following solution branches into the subcritical parameter regime (a region of parameter space in which the static solution is linearly stable to convective perturbations), we find that it is possible to generate a solution which is characterized by a single, isolated convective plume. This solution is analogous to the steady magnetohydrodynamic convectons that have previously been found in two-dimensional calculations. These results can be related, in a qualitative sense, to observations of umbral dots.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Houghton SM, Bushby PJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Year: 2011

Volume: 412

Issue: 1

Pages: 555-560

Print publication date: 15/12/2010

Date deposited: 06/01/2012

ISSN (print): 0035-8711

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2966

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17926.x


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