Effects of varying magnetosheath flow and dissipation on the two-dimensional reconnection structure at the magnetopause

Westerberg, Lars G.; Åkerstedt, Hans O.; Taavola, J. Henric
May 2009
Physics of Plasmas;May2009, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p052902
Academic Journal
The stationary Riemann problem including dissipation in form of resistivity and viscosity for the reconnection structure at the dayside magnetopause is considered. Including tangential velocity shear and gradients across the complete reconnection structure from the magnetosheath side into the magnetosphere, it is shown how dissipation affects the thickness of the intermediate shock wave in the vicinity of a reconnection site. We present how plasma flow structure undergoes a significant change for a nonzero uniform plasma velocity and velocity gradient. It is also shown how the reconnection rate changes and leads to a cutoff when the velocity becomes Alfvénic.


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