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Quantitative estimates of magnetic field reconnection properties from electric and magnetic field measurements
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.
2007 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, Vol. 112, no A10, A10206- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reconnection occurs in a reconnection magnetic field geometry when there are positive electric field components tangential to the magnetopause and a magnetic field component normal to it. Because these three components are the smallest of the six electric and magnetic fields, their magnitudes are difficult to determine because of errors in, or oscillations of, the assumed constant direction normal to the current sheet. A method is described for minimizing these errors by appropriate selection of the normal direction and by analyzing the correlations between the large normal electric field and the large tangential magnetic field. The correlation coefficients are equal to ratios of the small fields, which are combined with the less accurate measurements of the averages of the small fields to produce best estimates of the small fields. For more than 120 magnetopause crossings, about 40% had such correlations that signify static conditions during those crossings. This method is applied to 22 polar subsolar magnetopause crossings to show that most were located in the ion diffusion region, as defined by the change of the total magnetic field, and that 14 had a large and steady reconnection rate with a zero parallel electric field. In these events the reconnection rate decreased with increasing guide magnetic field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 112, no A10, A10206- p.
Keyword [en]
Diffusion, diffusion, ions, correlation coefficient, correlation, Current sheet, direction, oscillations, errors, Magnetopause, electrical field, geometry, Magnetic reconnection, magnetic field
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-14599DOI: 10.1029/2007JA012406ISI: 000250221300001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-14599DiVA: diva2:42370
Available from: 2008-01-31 Created: 2008-01-31 Last updated: 2011-03-25Bibliographically approved

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Retino, Alessandro
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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