Resistive MHD reconstruction of two-dimensional coherent structures in space

Teh Wai Leong, B. U Ö Sonnerup, J. Birn, R. E. Denton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a reconstruction technique to solve the steady resistive MHD equations in two dimensions with initial inputs of field and plasma data from a single spacecraft as it passes through a coherent structure in space. At least two components of directly measured electric fields (the spacecraft spin-plane components) are required for the reconstruction, to produce two-dimensional (2-D) field and plasma maps of the cross section of the structure. For convenience, the resistivity tensor η is assumed diagonal in the reconstruction coordinates, which allows its values to be estimated from Ohm's law, E + v × B = η · j. In the present paper, all three components of the electric field are used. We benchmark our numerical code by use of an exact, axi-symmetric solution of the resistive MHD equations and then apply it to synthetic data from a 3-D, resistive, MHD numerical simulation of reconnection in the geomagnetic tail, in a phase of the event where time dependence and deviations from 2-D are both weak. The resistivity used in the simulation is time-independent and localized around the reconnection site in an ellipsoidal region. For the magnetic field, plasma density, and pressure, we find very good agreement between the reconstruction results and the simulation, but the electric field and plasma velocity are not predicted with the same high accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2113-2125
Number of pages13
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Volume28
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

plasma
electric field
electric fields
electrical resistivity
spacecraft
simulation
geomagnetic tail
Ohms law
plasma pressure
plasma density
time dependence
cross section
tensors
magnetic field
deviation
cross sections
magnetic fields
code

Keywords

  • Magnetospheric physics (Magnetopause, cusp, and boundary layers)
  • Space plasma physics (Magnetic reconnection; Numerical simulation studies)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geology

Cite this

Resistive MHD reconstruction of two-dimensional coherent structures in space. / Wai Leong, Teh; Sonnerup, B. U Ö; Birn, J.; Denton, R. E.

In: Annales Geophysicae, Vol. 28, No. 11, 2010, p. 2113-2125.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wai Leong, Teh ; Sonnerup, B. U Ö ; Birn, J. ; Denton, R. E. / Resistive MHD reconstruction of two-dimensional coherent structures in space. In: Annales Geophysicae. 2010 ; Vol. 28, No. 11. pp. 2113-2125.
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