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A Bayesian Approach to Helioseismic Inversions of Subsurface Solar Flows
Alec Herczeg, NMSU
Helioseismology is a branch of solar physics dedicated to the understanding of the subsurface flows within the Sun. To accomplish this goal, various methods exist to infer the flows from oscillations that are observed and measured at the surface. These acoustic waves propagate inwards before being refracted and traveling back up to another point on the surface some distance away. As the waves navigate the interior, changes in plasma flow velocities, sound speed, and other properties perturb the waves in measurable ways. With an understanding of the sensitivity of such waves to these interior properties, an inversion is performed to determine the necessary subsurface conditions that led to the observed changes in the wave as it traveled. In most cases, the property of interest is the flow velocity at a given depth, and such inversions have been performed to create maps of various flows ranging from local to global scales. Current inversion techniques have failed to yield a consensus among the community in the cases of meridional circulation and supergranulation in particular. In an effort to more confidently constrain the flow profiles of these structures, a new Bayesian approach to performing such inversions is proposed.