Two-dimensional simulations of internal gravity waves in the radiation zones of intermediate-mass stars

R. P. Ratnasingam, P. V.F. Edelmann, T. M. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Intermediate-mass main-sequence stars have large radiative envelopes overlying convective cores. This configuration allows internal gravity waves (IGWs) generated at the convective-radiative interface to propagate towards the stellar surface. The signatures of these waves can be observed in the photometric and spectroscopic data from stars. We have studied the propagation of these IGWs using two-dimensional (2D) fully non-linear hydrodynamical simulations with realistic stellar reference states from the 1D stellar evolution code, Modules for Stellar Astrophysics (mesa). When a single wave is forced, we observe wave self-interaction. When two waves are forced, we observe non-linear interaction (i.e. triadic interaction) between these waves forming waves at different wavelengths and frequencies. When a spectrum of waves similar to that found in numerical simulations is forced, we find that the surface IGW frequency slope is consistent with recent observations. This power law is similar to that predicted by linear theory for the wave propagation, with small deviations that can be an effect of non-linearities. When the same generation spectrum is applied to 3 M⊙ models at different stellar rotation and ages, the surface IGW spectrum slope is very similar to the generation spectrum slope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4231-4245
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • stars: interiors
  • stars: massive
  • waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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