Parametrizing the time-variation of the ''surface term'' of stellar p-mode frequencies: application to helioseismic data

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  • Department of Astronomy, Yale University


The solar-cyle variation of acoustic mode frequencies has a frequency dependence related to the inverse mode inertia. The discrepancy between model predictions and measured oscillation frequencies for solar and solar-type stellar acoustic modes includes a significant frequency-dependent term known as the surface term that is also related to the inverse mode inertia. We parametrize both the surface term and the frequency variations for low-degree solar data from Birmingham Solar-Oscillations Network (BiSON) and medium-degree data from the Global Oscillations Network Group (GONG) using the mode inertia together with cubic and inverse frequency terms. We find that for the central frequency of rotationally split multiplets the cubic term dominates both the average surface term and the temporal variation, but for the medium-degree case the inverse term improves the fit to the temporal variation. We also examine the variation of the even-order splitting coefficients for the medium-degree data and find that, as for the central frequency, the latitude-dependent frequency variation, which reflects the changing latitudinal distribution of magnetic activity over the solar cycle, can be described by the combination of a cubic and an inverse function of frequency scaled by inverse mode inertia. The results suggest that this simple parametrization could be used to assess the activity-related frequency variation in solar-like asteroseismic targets.


Original languageEnglish
JournalRoyal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
Issue number2
Early online date17 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Oct 2016


  • Sun, helioseismology, oscillations