On Multiple Hall‐Like Electron Currents and Tripolar Guide Magnetic Field Perturbations During Kelvin‐Helmholtz Waves

On Multiple Hall‐Like Electron Currents and Tripolar Guide Magnetic Field Perturbations During... Two magnetopause current sheet crossings with tripolar guide magnetic field signatures were observed by multiple Magnetosphere Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft during Kelvin‐Helmholtz wave activity. The two out‐of‐plane magnetic field depressions of the tripolar guide magnetic field are largely supported by the observed in‐plane electron currents, which are reminiscent of two clockwise Hall current loop systems. A comparison with a three‐dimensional kinetic simulation of Kelvin‐Helmholtz waves and vortex‐induced reconnection suggests that MMS likely encountered the two Hall magnetic field depressions on either side of a magnetic reconnection X‐line. Moreover, MMS observed an out‐of‐plane current reversal and a corresponding in‐plane magnetic field rotation at the center of one of the current sheets, suggesting the presence of two adjacent flux ropes. The region inside one of the ion‐scale flux ropes was characterized by an observed decrease of the total magnetic field, a strong axial current, and significant enhancements of electron density and parallel electron temperature. The flux rope boundary was characterized by currents opposite this axial current, strong in‐plane and converging electric fields, parallel electric fields, and weak electron‐frame Joule dissipation. These return current region observations may reflect a need to support the axial current rather than representing local reconnection signatures in the absence of any exhausts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Wiley
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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
©2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
2169-9380
eISSN
2169-9402
D.O.I.
10.1002/2017JA024155
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Two magnetopause current sheet crossings with tripolar guide magnetic field signatures were observed by multiple Magnetosphere Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft during Kelvin‐Helmholtz wave activity. The two out‐of‐plane magnetic field depressions of the tripolar guide magnetic field are largely supported by the observed in‐plane electron currents, which are reminiscent of two clockwise Hall current loop systems. A comparison with a three‐dimensional kinetic simulation of Kelvin‐Helmholtz waves and vortex‐induced reconnection suggests that MMS likely encountered the two Hall magnetic field depressions on either side of a magnetic reconnection X‐line. Moreover, MMS observed an out‐of‐plane current reversal and a corresponding in‐plane magnetic field rotation at the center of one of the current sheets, suggesting the presence of two adjacent flux ropes. The region inside one of the ion‐scale flux ropes was characterized by an observed decrease of the total magnetic field, a strong axial current, and significant enhancements of electron density and parallel electron temperature. The flux rope boundary was characterized by currents opposite this axial current, strong in‐plane and converging electric fields, parallel electric fields, and weak electron‐frame Joule dissipation. These return current region observations may reflect a need to support the axial current rather than representing local reconnection signatures in the absence of any exhausts.

Journal

Journal of Geophysical Research: Space PhysicsWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ;

References

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