Modeling Time-Variable Elemental Abundances in Coronal Loop Simulations

6 Jun 2024  ·  Jeffrey W. Reep, John Unverferth, Will T. Barnes, Sherry Chhabra ·

Numerous recent X-ray observations of coronal loops in both active regions (ARs) and solar flares have shown clearly that elemental abundances vary with time. Over the course of a flare, they have been found to move from coronal values towards photospheric values near the flare peak, before slowly returning to coronal values during the gradual phase. Coronal loop models typically assume that the elemental abundances are fixed, however. In this work, we introduce a time-variable abundance factor into the 0D ebtel++ code that models the changes due to chromospheric evaporation in order to understand how this affects coronal loop cooling. We find that for strong heating events ($\gtrsim$ 1 erg s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-3}$), the abundances quickly tend towards photospheric values. For smaller heating rates, the abundances fall somewhere between coronal and photospheric values, causing the loop to cool more quickly than the time-fixed photospheric cases (typical flare simulations) and more slowly than time-fixed coronal cases (typical AR simulations). This suggests heating rates in quiescent AR loops no larger than $\approx 0.1$ erg s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-3}$ to be consistent with recent measurements of abundance factors $f \gtrsim 2$.

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