Dissipation of earthward propagating flux rope through re‐reconnection with geomagnetic field: An MMS case study

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Title: Dissipation of earthward propagating flux rope through re‐reconnection with geomagnetic field: An MMS case study
Authors: Poh, G
Slavin, JA
Lu, S
Le, G
Ozturk, DS
Sun, W
Zou, S
Eastwood, JP
Nakamura, R
Baumjohann, W
Russell, CT
Gershman, DJ
Giles, BL
Pollock, CJ
Moore, TE
Torbert, RB
Burch, JL
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Three‐dimensional global hybrid simulations and observations have shown that earthward‐moving flux ropes (FRs) can undergo magnetic reconnection (or re‐reconnection) with the near‐Earth dipole field to create dipolarization front (DF)‐like signatures that are immediately preceded by brief intervals of negative BZ. The simultaneous erosion of the southward BZ field at the leading edge of the FR and continuous reconnection of lobe magnetic flux at the X‐line tailward of the FR result in the asymmetric south‐north BZ signature in many earthward‐moving FRs and possibly DFs with negative BZ dips prior to their observation. In this study, we analyzed Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) observation of fields and plasma signatures associated with the encounter of an ion diffusion region ahead of an earthward‐moving FR on 3 August 2017. The signatures of this re‐reconnection event were (i) +/− BZ reversal, (ii) −/+ bipolar‐type quadrupolar Hall magnetic fields, (iii) northward super‐Alfvénic electron outflow jet of ~1,000–1,500 km/s, (iv) Hall electric field of ~15 mV/m, (v) intense currents of ~40–100 nA/m2, and (vi) J·E′ ~0.11 nW/m3. Our analysis suggests that the MMS spacecraft encounters the ion and electron diffusion regions but misses the X‐line. Our results are in good agreement with particle‐in‐cell simulations of Lu et al. (2016, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JA022815). We computed a dimensionless reconnection rate of ~0.09 for this re‐reconnection event and through modeling, estimating that the FR would fully dissipate by −16.58 RE. We demonstrated pertubations in the high‐latitude ionospheric currents at the same time of the dissipation of earthward‐moving FRs using ground‐ and space‐based measurements.
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2019
Date of Acceptance: 13-Aug-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/74700
DOI: 10.1029/2018ja026451
ISSN: 2169-9380
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Start Page: 7477
End Page: 7493
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume: 124
Issue: 9
Copyright Statement: ©2019. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. This is the accepted version of the following article: Poh, G., Slavin, J. A., Lu, S., Le, G., Ozturk, D. S., Sun, W.‐J., et al. ( 2019). Dissipation of earthward propagating flux rope through re‐reconnection with geomagnetic field: An MMS case study. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 124, 7477– 7493, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JA026451
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/N000692/1
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2019-08-28
Appears in Collections:Space and Atmospheric Physics

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