On the Cause of X-Line Formation in the Near-Earth Plasma Sheet: Results of Adiabatic Convection of Plasma-Sheet Plasma

  1. Edward W. Hones Jr.
  1. G. M. Erickson

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM030p0296

Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas

Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas

How to Cite

Erickson, G. M. (1984) On the Cause of X-Line Formation in the Near-Earth Plasma Sheet: Results of Adiabatic Convection of Plasma-Sheet Plasma, in Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas (ed E. W. Hones), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM030p0296

Author Information

  1. Department of Space Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, Houston, TX 77251

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900582

Online ISBN: 9781118664223

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Keywords:

  • Frozen-in-flux theorem;
  • Magnetopause;
  • Magnetospheric substorms;
  • Quasi-static convection;
  • X-line formation

Summary

Self-consistent, static-equilibrium solutions are presented for two-dimensional magnetospheric-magnetic-field configurations with isotropic thermal pressure. These solutions include a dipole field and are not restricted to the asymptotic theory. Adiabatic convection of plasma sheet flux tubes is modeled as a series of static-equilibrium solutions in which flux tubes conserve their PVγ as they convect, which resulted in time dependent magnetospheric configurations. Specifically it is found that a deep minimum in the equatorial Bz develops in the inner plasma sheet, thereby causing the magneticfield configuration to become more stretched and tail-like in time. These results suggest X-line formation in the inner plasma sheet as a consequence of lossless, adiabatic convection of plasma sheet flux tubes.