• A simulation study of magnetic reconnection processes at the dayside magnetopause

      Shi, Yong; Lee, L. C.; Akasofu, S-I.; Gatterdam, R.; Gosink, J.; Swift, D. W. (1989-12)
      In this thesis, the day side reconnection processes are studied by using computer simulations. First, the global magnetic reconnection patterns at the dayside magnetopause are studied based on a two-dimensional incompressible magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code. It is found that multiple X line reconnection may prevail at the dayside magnetopause when the magnetic Reynolds number is large (> 200). The formation and subsequent poleward convection of magnetic islands are observed in the simulation. The Alfvén Mach number of the solar wind, MAsw , cam also change the reconnection patterns. For a large reconnection tends to occur at the higher latitude region. Secondly, the structure of the dayside reconnection layer is studied by a two-dimensional compressible MHD simulation. In a highly asymmetric configuration typical of the dayside magnetopause, the pair of slow shocks bounding the reconnection layer in Petschek’s symmetric model is found to be replaced by an intermediate shock on the magnetosheath side and a weak slow shock on the magnetospheric side. In addition, a mechanism for the enhancement of By, which is observed in the magnetopause current layer and magnetic flux tubes, is proposed.