Numerical simulations of penetration and overshoot in the sun

Tamara M. Rogers, Gary A. Glatzmaier, C. A. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


We present numerical simulations of convective overshoot in a two-dimensional model of the solar equatorial plane. The model equations are solved in the anelastic approximation with enhanced thermal conductivity and viscosity for numerical stability. The simulated domain extends from 0.001 to 0.93 R, spanning both convective and radiative regions. We show that convective penetration leads to a slightly extended, mildly subadiabatic temperature gradient beneath the convection zone, spanning approximately 0.05Hp, below which there is a rapid transition to a strongly subadiabatic region. A slightly higher temperature is maintained in the overshoot region by adiabatic heating from overshooting plumes. This enhanced temperature may partially account for the sound speed discrepancy between the standard solar model and helioseismology. Simulations conducted with tracer particles suggest that a fully mixed region exists down to at least 0.684 R .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-773
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Dec 10 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Convection
  • Sun: interior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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