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Three-dimensional spontaneous magnetic reconnection in neutral current sheets View all abstracts by submitter

Bernhard Kliem   Submitted: 2000-06-22 21:04

Magnetic reconnection in an antiparallel uniform Harris current sheet equilibri- equilibrium, which is initially perturbed by a region of enhanced resistivity limited in all three dimensions, is investigated through compressible magnetohy- magnetohydrodynamic simulations. Variable resistivity, coupled to the dynamics of the plasma by an electron-ion drift velocity criterion, is used during the evolution. A phase of magnetic reconnection amplifying with time and leading to eruptive energy release is triggered only if the initial perturbation is strongly elongated in the direction of current flow or if the threshold for onset of anomalous resistivity is significantly lower than in the corresponding two-dimensional case. A Petschek-like configuration is then built up for sim102 Alfvén times, but remains localized in the third dimension. Subsequently, a change of topology to an O-line at the center of the system (``secondary tearing'') occurs. This leads to enhanced and time-variable reconnection, to a second pair of outflow jets directed along the O-line, and to expansion of the reconnection process into the third dimension. High parallel current density components are created mainly near the region of enhanced resistivity.

Authors: Schumacher, J., Kliem, B., Seehafer, N.

Publication Status: Phys. Plasmas 7, 108 (2000)
Last Modified: 2000-06-22 21:04
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