Dipolar dynamos in stratified systems

Abstract : Observations of low-mass stars reveal a variety of magnetic field topologies ranging from large-scale, axial dipoles to more complex magnetic fields. At the same time, three-dimensional spherical simulations of convectively driven dynamos reproduce a similar diversity, which is commonly obtained either with Boussinesq models or with more realistic models based on the anelastic approximation, which take into account the variation of the density with depth throughout the convection zone. Nevertheless , a conclusion from different anelastic studies is that dipolar solutions seem more difficult to obtain as soon as substantial stratifications are considered. In this paper, we aim at clarifying this point by investigating in more detail the influence of the density stratification on dipolar dynamos. To that end, we rely on a systematic parameter study that allows us to clearly follow the evolution of the stability domain of the dipolar branch as the density stratification is increased. The impact of the density stratification both on the dynamo onset and the dipole collapse is discussed and compared to previous Boussinesq results. Furthermore, our study indicates that the loss of the dipolar branch does not ensue from a specific modification of the dynamo mechanisms related to the background stratification, but could instead result from a bias as our observations naturally favour a certain domain in the parameter space characterized by moderate values of the Ekman number, owing to current computational limitations. Moreover, we also show that the critical magnetic Reynolds number of the dipolar branch is scarcely modified by the increase of the density stratification, which provides an important insight into the global understanding of the impact of the density stratification on the stability domain of the dipolar dynamo branch.
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Contributor : Raphaël Raynaud <>
Submitted on : Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 2:07:49 PM
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Raphaël Raynaud, Ludovic Petitdemange, Emmanuel Dormy. Dipolar dynamos in stratified systems. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2015, 448, pp.2055-2065. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stv122⟩. ⟨hal-01122919⟩

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