Fractal reconnection structures on the magnetopause
Article first published online: 15 FEB 2005
Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 32, Issue 3, February 2005
How to Cite
2005), Fractal reconnection structures on the magnetopause, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L03115, doi:10.1029/2004GL021779., and (
- Issue published online: 15 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 15 FEB 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 JAN 2005
- Manuscript Revised: 23 DEC 2004
- Manuscript Received: 18 OCT 2004
 Simple laminar flow models of the magnetosheath plasma lead to predictions of large-scale reconnection structures on the dayside magnetopause. There is observational evidence from the ionosphere that such structures exist. However, in situ observations of the magnetosheath plasma near the magnetopause indicate that the fluid is highly disordered, with the magnetic field orientation in particular being extremely noisy. This raises the question of how coherent large-scale reconnection structures can be created and persist. This paper shows that, if the apparent noise in the magnetosheath field has the characteristics of fractal turbulence, large-scale structures can persist even when the apparent noise levels in the draped magnetic field are very large. Furthermore, the common observation of reconnection transients is naturally explained by this model.