Articles | Volume 18, issue 3
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 18, 287–294, 2011

Special issue: Multifractals and intermittent turbulence in the solar-terrestrial...

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 18, 287–294, 2011

Research article 12 May 2011

Research article | 12 May 2011

Multifractal two-scale Cantor set model for slow solar wind turbulence in the outer heliosphere during solar maximum

W. M. Macek1,2 and A. Wawrzaszek1 W. M. Macek and A. Wawrzaszek
  • 1Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Science, Bartycka 18A, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
  • 2Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Wóycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland

Abstract. To quantify solar wind turbulence, we consider a generalized two-scale weighted Cantor set with two different scales describing nonuniform distribution of the kinetic energy flux between cascading eddies of various sizes. We examine generalized dimensions and the corresponding multifractal singularity spectrum depending on one probability measure parameter and two rescaling parameters. In particular, we analyse time series of velocities of the slow speed streams of the solar wind measured in situ by Voyager 2 spacecraft in the outer heliosphere during solar maximum at various distances from the Sun: 10, 30, and 65 AU. This allows us to look at the evolution of multifractal intermittent scaling of the solar wind in the distant heliosphere. Namely, it appears that while the degree of multifractality for the solar wind during solar maximum is only weakly correlated with the heliospheric distance, but the multifractal spectrum could substantially be asymmetric in a very distant heliosphere beyond the planetary orbits. Therefore, one could expect that this scaling near the frontiers of the heliosphere should rather be asymmetric. It is worth noting that for the model with two different scaling parameters a better agreement with the solar wind data is obtained, especially for the negative index of the generalized dimensions. Therefore we argue that there is a need to use a two-scale cascade model. Hence we propose this model as a useful tool for analysis of intermittent turbulence in various environments and we hope that our general asymmetric multifractal model could shed more light on the nature of turbulence.