Contribution of flows around active regions to the north-south helioseismic travel-time measurements

P. L. Poulier, Z. C. Liang, D. Fournier, L. Gizon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context. In local helioseismology, the travel times of acoustic waves propagating in opposite directions along the same meridian inform us about horizontal flows in the north-south direction. The longitudinal averages of the north-south helioseismic travel-time shifts vary with the sunspot cycle. Aims. We aim to study the contribution of inflows into solar active regions to this solar-cycle variation. Methods. To do so, we identified the local flows around active regions in the horizontal flow maps obtained from correlation tracking of granulation in continuum images of the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory. We computed the forward-modeled travel-time perturbations caused by these inflows using 3D sensitivity kernels. In order to compare with the observations, we averaged these forward-modeled travel-time perturbations over longitude and time in the same way as the measured travel times. Results. The forward-modeling approach shows that the inflows associated with active regions may account for only a fraction of the solar-cycle variations in the north-south travel-time measurements. Conclusions. The travel-time perturbations caused by the large-scale inflows surrounding the active regions do not explain in full the solar-cycle variations seen in the helioseismic measurements of the meridional circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA189
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: helioseismology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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