Small-scale dynamo in stably stratified turbulence

V. Skoutnev, J. Squire, A. Bhattacharjee

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6 Scopus citations


We present numerical investigations into three principal properties of a small-scale dynamo in stably stratified turbulence: The onset criterion, the growth rate, and the nature of the magnetic field anisotropy in the kinematic regime. The results suggest that all three dynamo properties are controlled by the scale separation between the Ozmidov scale and the viscous or resistive scale. In addition to the critical magnetic Reynolds number, this allows for the definition of critical buoyancy and magnetic buoyancy Reynolds numbers for stratified small-scale dynamo onset in the high and low magnetic Prandtl number regimes, respectively. The presence of a small-scale dynamo in stellar radiative zones could affect dynamics through the resulting Maxwell stresses or its influence on large-scale dynamo mechanisms in regions of differential rotation. Taking the solar radiative zone as a representative example and applying the onset criterion, we find that the stratification is strong enough to make the small-scale dynamo marginally active in the stably stratified turbulence of the solar tachocline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberabc8ee
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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