Development of a Data-driven Magnetohydrodynamic Simulation Model for Flux-Emerging Active Regions Leading to Coronal Mass Ejections

  • Yalim, Mehmet M.S. (PI)
  • Pogorelov, Nikolai N. (CoPI)
  • Hu, Qiang Q. (CoPI)
  • Prasad, Avijeet A. (CoPI)
  • Hirshberg, Ilan (PI)
  • N., Christopher Phillips c.P. (CoPI)

Project Details


Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are major drivers of extreme space weather in the near-Earth space, hence a matter of serious concern for our modern, technologically-dependent society. The development of advanced models that could simulate the CME generation and propagation through interplanetary space is an important step toward our capability to predict the arrival times of CMEs at the Earth and their geo-effectiveness. CME generation models of varying complexity and accuracy have been developed for a number of decades now, ranging from over-pressured plasmoid models, such as the blob model, through to flux rope-based models with or without the necessity of energy build-up before the eruption. In almost all the cases, they have model parameters that need to be adjusted from one event to another. This 3-year project aims to develop a self-consistent, data-driven magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulation model for CMEs extending from lower chromosphere to 1 AU that is entirely based on first principles with minimum setup effort and free model parameters. This 3-year research investigation is also expected to increase the public awareness about space weather. As part of the project, the team will develop a website, which will be self-explanatory about CMEs and their role in space weather, including images based on the original project's results that will be regularly posted. As such, it will provide a valuable educational tool to the general public. The project team will archive their data sets and share them with interested parties, such as different space physics and astrophysics groups on request. Hence, their new model will contribute to the space weather forecasting modeling efforts as a valuable scientific tool for the solar-heliospheric community at large. The PI of the project is the Program Coordinator of the Heliophysics REU program at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). There are also other summer internship programs ongoing at the UAH's Department of Space Science and Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research (CSPAR). Within the framework of these programs, the project team will offer compelling research projects to undergraduate students at the UAH, giving preference to students from underrepresented minorities. The research and EPO agenda of this project supports the Strategic Goals of the AGS Division in discovery, learning, diversity, and interdisciplinary research.

This 3-year project aims to develop a new data-driven MHD simulation model for CMEs extending from lower chromosphere to 1 AU that is entirely based on first principles with minimum setup effort and free model parameters. This new model, which will be driven by vector magnetograms on the photosphere (taken by SDO's HMI) through a physically-consistent characteristic boundary condition formulation, will track the evolution of active regions (ARs), mainly the build-up of free energy and magnetic helicity into the ARs through flux emergences. The main goal of the project team is to obtain the formation of flux ropes near polarity inversion lines and eventually their eruptions resulting from the torus instability. The investigators will then follow the CME propagation through the corona and inner heliosphere up to 1 AU and validate their results with various spacecraft data at every stage. They have already developed separately their local simulation model consisting of lower chromosphere, transition region, and lower corona and global simulation model covering global corona and inner heliosphere within our Multi-Scale Fluid-Kinetic Simulation Suite (MS-FLUKSS) code. During this project, the team will couple the local and global components of their simulation model.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date1/01/2031/07/23


  • United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)


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