Time-dependent localized reconnection of skewed magnetic fields

V.S. Semenov, I.V. Kubyshkin, V.V. Lebedeva, M.V. Kubyshkina, H.K. Biernat, M.F. Heyn, B.P. Besser, R.P. Rijnbeek

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Abstract

A model for time-varying, localized reconnection in a current sheet with skewed magnetic field orientations at opposite sides is described and analyzed. The analysis is restricted to an incompressible plasma, in which case the Alfven wave and the slow shock merge to form shocks bounding the field reversal or outflow region, and to the case of weak reconnection, which implies that the reconnection electric field is much smaller than the product of the characteristic values of the external field strength and Alfven speed. This model can be applied to the earth's magnetopause, where reconnection is considered to be the dominant process coupling the solar wind and the magnetosphere. The results can be used to interpret different manifestations of reconnection such as accelerated plasma flows along the magnetopause and flux transfer events.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)4251-4263
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume97
Issue numberA4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

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