Coronal Heating by MHD Waves

Tom Van Doorsselaere*, Abhishek K. Srivastava, Patrick Antolin, Norbert Magyar, Soheil Vasheghani Farahani, Hui Tian, Dmitrii Kolotkov, Leon Ofman, Mingzhe Guo, Iñigo Arregui, Ineke De Moortel, David Pascoe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


The heating of the solar chromosphere and corona to the observed high temperatures, imply the presence of ongoing heating that balances the strong radiative and thermal conduction losses expected in the solar atmosphere. It has been theorized for decades that the required heating mechanisms of the chromospheric and coronal parts of the active regions, quiet-Sun, and coronal holes are associated with the solar magnetic fields. However, the exact physical process that transport and dissipate the magnetic energy which ultimately leads to the solar plasma heating are not yet fully understood. The current understanding of coronal heating relies on two main mechanism: reconnection and MHD waves that may have various degrees of importance in different coronal regions. In this review we focus on recent advances in our understanding of MHD wave heating mechanisms. First, we focus on giving an overview of observational results, where we show that different wave modes have been discovered in the corona in the last decade, many of which are associated with a significant energy flux, either generated in situ or pumped from the lower solar atmosphere. Afterwards, we summarise the recent findings of numerical modelling of waves, motivated by the observational results. Despite the advances, only 3D MHD models with Alfvén wave heating in an unstructured corona can explain the observed coronal temperatures compatible with the quiet Sun, while 3D MHD wave heating models including cross-field density structuring are not yet able to account for the heating of coronal loops in active regions to their observed temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140
Number of pages40
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number8
Early online date2 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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