Topologically driven coronal dynamics – a mechanism for coronal hole jets
- 1European Space Agency, Research and Scientific Support Department, c/o NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Code 671.1, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
- 2Heliophysics Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Code 674.0, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Abstract. Bald patches are magnetic topologies in which the magnetic field is concave up over part of a photospheric polarity inversion line. A bald patch topology is believed to be the essential ingredient for filament channels and is often found in extrapolations of the observed photospheric field. Using an analytic source-surface model to calculate the magnetic topology of a small bipolar region embedded in a global magnetic dipole field, we demonstrate that although common in closed-field regions close to the solar equator, bald patches are unlikely to occur in the open-field topology of a coronal hole. Our results give rise to the following question: What happens to a bald patch topology when the surrounding field lines open up? This would be the case when a bald patch moves into a coronal hole, or when a coronal hole forms in an area that encompasses a bald patch. Our magnetostatic models show that, in this case, the bald patch topology almost invariably transforms into a null point topology with a spine and a fan. We argue that the time-dependent evolution of this scenario will be very dynamic since the change from a bald patch to null point topology cannot occur via a simple ideal evolution in the corona. We discuss the implications of these findings for recent Hinode XRT observations of coronal hole jets and give an outline of planned time-dependent 3-D MHD simulations to fully assess this scenario.