Solar-Cycle Variation of Subsurface Zonal Flow

R. Komm, R. Howe, I. González hernández, F. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We study the solar-cycle variation of the zonal flow in the near-surface layers of the solar convection zone from the surface to a depth of 16 Mm covering the period from mid-2001 to mid-2013 or from the maximum of Cycle 23 through the rising phase of Cycle 24. We have analyzed Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) and Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) Dopplergrams with a ring-diagram analysis. The zonal flow varies with the solar cycle showing bands of faster-than-average flows equatorward of the mean latitude of activity and slower-than-average flows on the poleward side. The fast band of the zonal flow and the magnetic activity appear first in the northern hemisphere during the beginning of Cycle 24. The bands of fast zonal flow appear at mid-latitudes about three years in the southern and four years in the northern hemisphere before magnetic activity of Cycle 24 is present. This implies that the flow pattern is a direct precursor of magnetic activity. The solar-cycle variation of the zonal flow also has a poleward branch, which is visible as bands of faster-than-average zonal flow near 50° latitude. This band appears first in the southern hemisphere during the rising phase of the Cycle 24 and migrates slowly poleward. These results are in good agreement with corresponding results from global helioseismology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3435-3455
Number of pages21
JournalSolar Physics
Early online date19 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Helioseismology, observations
  • Solar cycle, observations
  • Velocity fields, interior


Dive into the research topics of 'Solar-Cycle Variation of Subsurface Zonal Flow'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this