Magnetoconvection simulations on meso-granule and granule scales near the solar surface are used to study small scale dynamo activity, the emergence and disappearance of magnetic flux tubes, and the formation and evolution of micropores.
From weak seed fields, convective motions produce highly intermittent magnetic fields in the intergranular lanes which collect over the boundaries of the underlying meso-granular scale cells. Instances of both emerging magnetic flux loops and magnetic flux disappearing from the surface occur in the simulations. We show an example of a flux tube collapsing to kG field strength and discuss how the nature of flux disappearance can be investigated. Observed Stokes profiles of small magnetic structures are severely distorted by telescope diffraction and seeing.
Because of the strong stratification, there is little recycling of plasma and field in the surface layers. Recycling instead occurs by exchange with the deep layers of the convection zone. Plasma and field from the surface descend through the convection zone and rise again toward the surface. Because only a tiny fraction of plasma rising up from deep in the convection zone reaches the surface due to mass conservation, little of the magnetic energy resides in the near surface layers. Thus the dynamo acting on weak incoherent fields is global, rather than a local surface dynamo.