Ion-scale secondary flux ropes generated by magnetopause reconnection as resolved by MMS.

Academic Article


  • New Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) observations of small-scale (~7 ion inertial length radius) flux transfer events (FTEs) at the dayside magnetopause are reported. The 10 km MMS tetrahedron size enables their structure and properties to be calculated using a variety of multispacecraft techniques, allowing them to be identified as flux ropes, whose flux content is small (~22 kWb). The current density, calculated using plasma and magnetic field measurements independently, is found to be filamentary. Intercomparison of the plasma moments with electric and magnetic field measurements reveals structured non-frozen-in ion behavior. The data are further compared with a particle-in-cell simulation. It is concluded that these small-scale flux ropes, which are not seen to be growing, represent a distinct class of FTE which is generated on the magnetopause by secondary reconnection.
  • Authors

  • Eastwood, JP
  • Phan, TD
  • Cassak, PA
  • Gershman, DJ
  • Haggerty, C
  • Malakit, K
  • Shay, MA
  • Mistry, R
  • Øieroset, M
  • Russell, CT
  • Slavin, JA
  • Argall, MR
  • Avanov, LA
  • Burch, JL
  • Chen, LJ
  • Dorelli, JC
  • Ergun, RE
  • Giles, BL
  • Khotyaintsev, Y
  • Lavraud, B
  • Lindqvist, PA
  • Moore, TE
  • Nakamura, R
  • Paterson, W
  • Pollock, C
  • Strangeway, RJ
  • Torbert, Roy
  • Wang, S
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • May 28, 2016
  • Published In


  • flux rope
  • magnetic reconnection
  • magnetopause
  • magnetospheric multiscale
  • secondary island
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 4716
  • End Page

  • 4724
  • Volume

  • 43
  • Issue

  • 10