Seismic constraints on interior solar convection

Shravan Hanasoge, Thomas L. Duvall, Marc L. DeRosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We constrain the velocity spectral distribution of global-scale solar convective cells at depth using techniques of local helioseismology. We calibrate the sensitivity of helioseismic waves to large-scale convective cells in the interior by analyzing simulations of waves propagating through a velocity snapshot of global solar convection via methods of time-distance helioseismology. Applying identical analysis techniques to observations of the Sun, we are able to bound from above the magnitudes of solar convective cells as a function of spatial convective scale. We find that convection at a depth of r/R = 0.95 with spatial extent ℓ < 20, where ℓ is the spherical harmonic degree, comprises weak flow systems, on the order of 15 m s-1 or less. Convective features deeper than r/R = 0.95 are more difficult to image due to the rapidly decreasing sensitivity of helioseismic waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1 PART 2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010



  • Convection
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Sun: helioseismology
  • Sun: interior
  • Sun: oscillations
  • Waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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