We perform numerical simulations of gravity mode propagation in a convective layer to investigate the observed association between small spatial scales and low frequencies in the photospheric velocity fields. According to the linear theory, when the fluid layer is convectively unstable, gravity modes are evanescent waves. However, in simple two-dimensional numerical settings, we find that when the equilibrium structure is modified by coherent large-scale convective motions, the waves injected at the bottom of the layer are no longer evanescent. In this situation, gravity waves can be detected at the surface of the layer. In our simplified model the injected wave's frequency remains unchanged, but its amplitude has a spatial modulation determined by the convective structure. This result may explain some analyses done with the proper orthogonal decomposition method of the solar surface velocity field even though solar convection is far more complex than the convection model considered here. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science