Author(s): , , , ,
Institution(s): 1. Institute of Mathematics, 2. Institute of Physics, IGAM
High resolution simulations and observations of the solar photosphere and convection zone show a new population of small granules with diameters less than 800 km. The mechanism of formation and dissipation is still unclear. We developed automated detection and tracking algorithms to study their evolution as well as their physical and statistical properties in 2D. We found that small granules may not result from the fragmentation of larger granules because they show a small variation in size from the point of appearance at the photosphere until their dissolution. In this study we present a newly developed 3D segmentation and tracking algorithm for the analysis of small-scale convective cells in high resolution simulations. We study the 3D topology and evolution of convective upflows and their interaction with strong vortex motions and magnetic flux tubes. We show that the evolution of small-scale convective upflows in the convection zone is mainly governed by strong vortex motions within downdrafts rather than by strong magnetic fields.