Using a 10-hour time sequence of very deep magnetograms of Big Bear Solar Observatory, we have studied the lifetime of Intranetwork Magnetic Elements for the first time. The analysis reveals the following results:
(1) The lifetime of intranetwork elements ranges from 0.2 hr to 7.5 hr with the mean of 2.1 hr. There appears to be a quasi-linear dependence of the lifetime on the total flux of elements.
(2) Most intranetwork elements appear as a cluster of mixed polarities from an emergence center somewhere within the network boundary and are destroyed by three mechanisms: merging with intranetwork or network elements of the same polarity, cancellation of opposite polarity elements, or separation and disappearance at the position where they appear.
(3) We estimate that the total energy released from the recycling of IN elements isłinebreak 1.6 × 1028 ergs s−1, which seems to be comparable to the energy required to heat the corona.