Generating Transverse Loop Oscillations through a Steady-flow Driver

Konstantinos Karampelas, Tom Van Doorsselaere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, the decay-less regime of standing transverse oscillations in coronal loops has been the topic of many observational and numerical studies, focusing on their physical characteristics, as well as their importance for coronal seismology and wave heating. However, no definitive answer has yet been given on the driving mechanism behind these oscillations, with most studies focusing on the use of periodic footpoint drivers as a means to excite them. In this paper, our goal is to explore the concept of these standing waves being self-sustained oscillations, driven by a constant background flow. To that end, we use the PLUTO code, to perform 3D magnetohydrodynamic simulations of a gravitationally stratified straight flux tube in a coronal environment, in the presence of a weak flow around the loop, perpendicular to its axis. Once this flow is firmly set up, a transverse oscillation is initiated, dominated by the fundamental kink mode of a standing wave, while the existence of a second harmonic is revealed, with a frequency ratio to the fundamental mode near the observed ones in decay-less oscillations. The presence of vortex shedding is also established in our simulations, which is connected to the "slippery" interaction between the oscillator and its surrounding plasma. We thus present a proof-of-concept of a self-oscillation in a coronal loop, and we propose it as a mechanism that could interpret the observed decay-less transverse oscillations of coronal loops.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL35
Number of pages5
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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