SDO/AIA Observation and Modeling of Flare-excited Slow Waves in Hot Coronal Loops

Monday, 15 December 2014
Tongjiang Wang1, Leon Ofman1, Elena Provornikova1, Xudong Sun2 and Joseph M Davila3, (1)Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, United States, (2)Stanford University, Los Altos Hills, CA, United States, (3)NASA Goddard SFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The flare-excited standing slow waves were first detected by SOHO/SUMER as Doppler shift oscillations in hot (>6 MK) coronal loops. It has been suggested that they are excited by small or micro- flares at one loop's footpoint. However, the detailed excitation mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we report an oscillation event observed by SDO/AIA in the 131 channel. The intensity disturbances excited by a C-class flare propagated back and forth along a hot loop for about two period with a strong damping. From the measured oscillation period and loop length, we estimate the wave phase speed to be about 410 km/s. Using a regularized DEM analysis we determine the loop temperature and electron density evolution and find that the loop plasma is heated to a temperature of 8-12 MK with a mean about 9 MK. These measurements support the interpretation as slow magnetoacousic waves. Magnetic field extrapolation suggests that the flare is triggered by slipping and null-point-type reconnections in a fan-spine magnetic topology, and the injected (or impulsively evaporated) hot plasmas flowing along the large spine field lines form the oscillating hot loops. To understand why the propagating waves but not the standing waves as observed previously are excited in this event, we preform simulations using a 3D MHD model based on the observed magnetic configuration including full energy equation. Our simulations indicate that the nature of loop temperature structure is critical for the excitation of whether propagating or standing waves in a hot loop. Our result demonstrates that the slow waves may be used for heating diagnostics of coronal loops with coronal seismology. We also discuss the application of coronal seismology for estimating the average magnetic field strength in the hot loop based on the observed slow waves.