Internal gravity waves (hereafter IGWs) are studied for their impact on the angular momentum transport in stellar radiation zones and the information they provide about the structure and dynamics of deep stellar interiors. We here present the first 3D nonlinear numerical simulations of IGWs excitation and propagation in a solar-like star. The aim is to study the behavior of waves in a realistic 3D nonlinear time dependent model of the Sun and to characterize their properties. We compare our results with theoretical and 1D predictions. It allows us to point out the complementarity between theory and simulation and to highlight the convenience but also the limits of the asymptotic and linear theories. We show that a rich spectrum of IGWs is excited by the convection, representing about 0.4\% of the total solar luminosity. We study the spatial and temporal properties of this spectrum, the effect of thermal damping and nonlinear interactions between waves. We give quantitative results about the modes frequencies, evolution with time and rotational splitting and we discuss the amplitude of IGWs considering different regimes of parameters. This work points out the importance of high performance simulation for its complementarity with observation and theory. It opens a large field of investigation concerning IGWs propagating nonlinearly in 3D spherical structures. The extension of this work to other types of stars, with different masses, structures and rotation rates will lead to a deeper and more accurate comprehension of IGWs in stars.
L. Alvan, A. Brun and S. Mathis
Tue, 18 Mar 14