Publication: The Effect Of Activity-Related Meridional Flow Modulation On The Strength Of The Solar Polar Magnetic Field
We studied the effect of the perturbation of the meridional flowin the activity belts detected by local helioseismology on the development and strength of the surface magnetic field at the polar caps. We carried out simulations of synthetic solar cycles with a flux transport model, which follows the cyclic evolution of the surface field determined by flux emergence and advective transport by near-surface flows. In each hemisphere, an axisymmetric band of latitudinal flows converging toward the central latitude of the activity belt was superposed onto the background poleward meridional flow. The overall effect of the flow perturbation is to reduce the latitudinal separation of the magnetic polarities of a bipolar magnetic region and thus diminish its contribution to the polar field. As a result, the polar field maximum reached around cycle activity minimum is weakened by the presence of the meridional flow perturbation. For a flow perturbation consistent with helioseismic observations, the polar field is reduced by about 18% compared to the case without inflows. If the amplitude of the flow perturbation depends on the cycle strength, its effect on the polar field provides a nonlinearity that could contribute to limiting the amplitude of a Babcock-Leighton type dynamo.