Articles | Volume 7, issue 3/4
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 7, 141–150, 2000
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-7-141-2000
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 7, 141–150, 2000
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-7-141-2000

  31 Dec 2000

31 Dec 2000

Kinetic simulations of the coupling between current instabilities and reconnection in thin current sheets

T. Wiegelmann and J. Büchner T. Wiegelmann and J. Büchner
  • Max-Planck Institut für Aeronomie, Max-Planck-Str. 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany

Abstract. We investigate the coupling between current and tearing instability modes of a thin current sheet using the particle code GISMO. We identify pure tearing modes (kx≠ 0), instabilities in the current flow direction (ky≠ 0) and general 3D reconnection modes (kx≠ 0 and ky≠ 0). Our results give evidence that the coupling between tearing modes and current instabilities plays an important role for spontaneous magnetic reconnection. These modes give a substantial contribution to magnetic reconnection, additional to the well known 2D tearing mode. When allowing reconnection to occur in three spatial dimensions, a configuration, which was initially invariant in the current How direction, develops into a configuration with no invariant direction.

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