Articles | Volume 31, issue 10
Regular paper
30 Oct 2013
Regular paper |  | 30 Oct 2013

Magnetopause reconnection and interlinked flux tubes

F. R. Cardoso, W. D. Gonzalez, D. G. Sibeck, M. Kuznetsova, and D. Koga

Abstract. Magnetic reconnection can be a continuous or a transient process. Global magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations are important tools to understand the relevant magnetic reconnection mechanisms and the resulting magnetic structures. We have studied magnetopause reconnection using a global 3-D MHD simulation in which the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) has been set to large positive By and large negative Bz components, i.e., a south-duskward direction. Flux tubes have been observed even during these constant solar wind conditions. We have focused on the interlinked flux tubes event resulting from time-dependent, patchy and multiple reconnection. At the event onset, two reconnection modes seem to occur simultaneously: a time-dependent, patchy and multiple reconnection for the subsolar region; and, a steady and large-scale reconnection for the regions far from the subsolar site.