The frequencies of the solar acoustic oscillations vary over the activity cycle. The variations in other activity proxies are found to be well correlated with the variations in the acoustic frequencies. However, each proxy has a slightly different time behaviour. Our goal is to characterize the differences between the time behaviour of the frequency shifts and of two other activity proxies, namely, the area covered by sunspots and the 10.7cm flux. We define a new observable that is particularly sensitive to the short-term frequency variations. We then compare the observable when computed from model frequency shifts and from observed frequency shifts obtained with the Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) for cycle 23. Our analysis shows that on the shortest time-scales the variations in the frequency shifts seen in the GONG observations are strongly correlated with the variations in the area covered by sunspots. However, a significant loss of correlation is still found. We verify that the times when the frequency shifts and the sunspot area do not vary in a similar way tend to coincide with the times of the maxima of the quasi-biennial variations seen in the solar seismic data. A similar analysis of the relation between the 10.7cm flux and the frequency shifts reveals that the short-time variations in the frequency shifts follow even more closely those of the 10.7cm flux than those of the sunspot area. However, a loss of correlation between frequency shifts and 10.7cm flux variations is still found around the same times.
Bibliographical note7 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS