Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 3:05 PM
Kalman Joshua Knizhnik, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States, Spiro K Antiochos, NASA GSFC, Silver Spring, MD, United States and C Richard DeVore, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
A major unexplained feature of the solar atmosphere is the accumulation of magnetic shear, in the form of filament channels, at photospheric polarity inversion lines (PILs). In addition to free energy, this shear also represents magnetic helicity, which is conserved under reconnection. In this work, we address the problem of filament channel formation and show how they acquire their shear and magnetic helicity. Results of 3D MHD simulations using the Adaptively Refined MHD Solver (ARMS) are presented that support the magnetic helicity-condensation model of filament-channel formation described by Antiochos, 2013. We consider the supergranular twisting of a quasi-potential flux system that is bounded by a PIL and contains a coronal hole (CH). The magnetic helicity injected by the small-scale photospheric motions is shown to inverse-cascade up to the largest allowable scales that define the closed flux system: the PIL and the CH boundary. This process produces field lines that are both sheared and smooth, and are sheared in opposite senses at the PIL and the CH. The accumulated helicity and shear flux are shown to be in excellent quantitative agreement with the helicity-condensation model. We present a detailed analysis of the simulation, including comparisons of our analytical and numerical results, and discuss their implications for observations.