Articles | Volume 10, issue 4/5
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 10, 335–343, 2003
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-10-335-2003

Special issue: Theory and Simulation of Solar System Plasmas, No.4

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 10, 335–343, 2003
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-10-335-2003

  31 Oct 2003

31 Oct 2003

Model for vortex turbulence with discontinuities in the solar wind

O. P. Verkhoglyadova1,2, B. Dasgupta3, and B. T. Tsurutani3 O. P. Verkhoglyadova et al.
  • 1Department of Astronomy and Space Physics, Kiev University, Ukraine
  • 2Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics -044, University of California, Riverside,CA 92521-0412, USA
  • 3Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91103, USA

Abstract. A model of vortex with embedded discontinuities in plasma flow is developed in the framework of ideal MHD in a low b plasma. Vortex structures are considered as a result of 2-D evolution of nonlinear shear Alfvén waves in the heliosphere. Physical properties of the solutions and vector fields are analyzed and the observational aspects of the model are discussed. The ratio of normal components to the discontinuity Br /Vr can be close to -2. The alignment between velocity and magnetic field vectors takes place. Spacecraft crossing such vortices will typically observe a pair of discontinuities, but with dissimilar properties. Occurrence rate for different discontinuity types is estimated and agrees with observations in high-speed solar wind stream. Discontinuity crossing provides a backward rotation of magnetic field vector and can be observed as part of a backward arc. The Ulysses magnetometer data obtained in the fast solar wind are compared with the results of theoretical modelling.