Working Group 7: Microflares and Nanoflares

Group Leaders: Iain Hannah, Nicki Viall

Flaring energy release occurs over a vast range of scales in the solar atmosphere. The largest X-Class flares down to microflares (A, B-Class) are exclusively active region phenomena and demonstrate similar characteristics of particle acceleration and plasma heating. One can easily envisage that energetically smaller flares beyond the current observational limits also exist due to smaller scale magnetic reconnection events. Indeed, theories to explain certain observational signatures of heating throughout the corona involve such so-called 'nanoflare' events. The power law frequency distribution of flares suggests that there are common features over all energy scales that could also extend to nanoflares. However, unlike microflares and larger flares, nanoflares are not directly observable with current observations, so the question remains: is it accurate to extrapolate the physical features of large flares down to those of nanoflares? What can we learn from such extrapolations, given that the power law distributions are subject to different bias effects and have unknown cut-offs? In this working group we welcome contributions from both observational and theoretical/numerical studies of microflares and nanoflares as well as possible relationships between them.