Deep Structure of Meridional Circulation: Time-Distance Helioseismic Inferences from HMI (4 years)
Indian Institute of Astrophysics
Natural Sciences (Astrophysics and Astrononmy)
We present results from time-distance helioseismic measurements of meridional circulation in the
solar convection zone using 4 years of Doppler velocity observations by the Helioseismic and
Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). We show, by taking into
account the limitations of decreasing signal-to-noise in the travel time measurements of acoustic
waves that sample deeper layers and through an in-built mass conservation constraint in the
inversion scheme, that the return flow that closes the meridional circulation is possibly below a
depth of about 0.77 R_sun. We discuss the significance of this result in relation to other helioseismic
inferences published recently and possible reasons for the differences in the results. We also discuss
the implications of our results for the dynamics of solar interior and popular solar dynamo models.
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