Flux transfer event and reconnection at the magnetopause: A comment



Gonzalez [1991] has recently highlighted some confusion about the relationship between flux transfer events (FTEs) and the theoretical concepts of steady-state and large-scale reconnection. He has also pointed out the necessity for a model that can reconcile both the in situ observations at the magnetopause and the polar-cap measurements indicating, at least on average, that reconnection occurs along a longitudinally extended band covering a substantial fraction of the magnetopause circumference. We would like to point out that there is no contradiction between the observations at the magnetopause and large-scale reconnection, as implied by measurements of the potential difference across the polar cap. The various phenomena observed at the magnetopause can be explained as aspects of the same process, and the reconnection model (as recently reviewed by Semenov et al., “1992”) synthesizes the magnetopause, ionospheric, and ground-based observations.