Pulsation-driven mean zonal and meridional flows in rotating massive stars

Umin Lee, Stéphane Mathis, Coralie Neiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Zonal and meridional axisymmetric flows can deeply impact the rotational and chemical evolution of stars. Therefore, momentum exchanges between waves propagating in stars, differential rotation, and meridional circulation must be carefully evaluated. In this work, we study axisymmetric mean flows in rapidly and initially uniformly rotating massive stars driven by small amplitude non-axisymmetric κ-driven oscillations. We treat them as perturbations of second order of the oscillation amplitudes and derive their governing equations as a set of coupled linear ordinary differential equations. This allows us to compute 2D zonal and meridional mean flows driven by low frequency g and r modes in slowly pulsating B stars and p modes in ß Cephei stars. Oscillation-driven mean flows usually have large amplitudes only in the surface layers. In addition, the kinetic energy of the induced 2D zonal rotational motions is much larger than that of the meridional motions. In some cases, meridional flows have a complex radial and latitudinal structure. We find pulsation-driven and rotation-driven meridional flows can have similar amplitudes. These results show the importance of taking wave - mean flow interactions into account when studying the evolution of massive stars.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberstw124
Pages (from-to)2445-2469
Number of pages25
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 11


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: massive
  • Stars: oscillations
  • Waves
  • stars: rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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