Wave associated anomalous drag during magnetic field reconnection

Mozer, F. S.; Wilber, M.; Drake, J. F.
October 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2011, Vol. 18 Issue 10, p102902
Academic Journal
The anomalous drag, D, due to large amplitude plasma waves is used for the first time, in place of η*j, to estimate dissipation at the sub-solar magnetopause and to determine the extent to which this drag accounts for the reconnection electric field. This anomalous drag is determined by measuring correlations of the fluctuations in the electric field and plasma density. Large amplitude electric fields occurred more than 60% of the time in the more than 100 sub-solar, low latitude magnetopause crossings of the THEMIS satellite. They occurred mainly near the magnetospheric separatrix in the form of electrostatic lower hybrid and whistler waves. The anomalous drag at the separatrix was generally <10% of the average reconnection electric field, and it was <1% of the field in the current sheet. Thus, anomalous drag due to waves is not a significant driver of reconnection or of the required dissipation at the sub-solar magnetopause.


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