Wednesday, March 20, 2013

1303.4466 (Jeffrey W. Reep et al.)

Diagnosing the time-dependence of active region core heating from the emission measure: II. Nanoflare trains    [PDF]

Jeffrey W. Reep, Stephen J. Bradshaw, James A. Klimchuk
The time-dependence of heating in solar active regions can be studied by analyzing the slope of the emission measure distribution cool-ward of the peak. In a previous study we showed that low-frequency heating can account for 0% to 77% of active region core emission measures. We now turn our attention to heating by a finite succession of impulsive events for which the timescale between events on a single magnetic strand is shorter than the cooling timescale. We refer to this scenario as a "nanoflare train" and explore a parameter space of heating and coronal loop properties with a hydrodynamic model. Our conclusions are: (1) nanoflare trains are consistent with 86% to 100% of observed active region cores when uncertainties in the atomic data are properly accounted for; (2) steeper slopes are found for larger values of the ratio of the train duration $\Delta_H$ to the post-train cooling and draining timescale $\Delta_C$, where $\Delta_H$ depends on the number of heating events, the event duration and the time interval between successive events ($\tau_C$); (3) $\tau_C$ may be diagnosed from the width of the hot component of the emission measure provided that the temperature bins are much smaller than 0.1 dex; (4) the slope of the emission measure alone is not sufficient to provide information about any timescale associated with heating - the length and density of the heated structure must be measured for $\Delta_H$ to be uniquely extracted from the ratio $\Delta_H/\Delta_C$.
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