Surface Waves on a Generalized Current Sheet

  1. J. H. Waite Jr.,
  2. J. L. Burch and
  3. R. L. Moore
  1. S. T. Suess and
  2. Z. E. Musielak

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM054p0413

Solar System Plasma Physics

Solar System Plasma Physics

How to Cite

Suess, S. T. and Musielak, Z. E. (1989) Surface Waves on a Generalized Current Sheet, in Solar System Plasma Physics (eds J. H. Waite, J. L. Burch and R. L. Moore), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM054p0413

Author Information

  1. Space Science Laboratory, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900742

Online ISBN: 9781118664315



  • Space plasmas;
  • Sun;
  • Magnetosphere;
  • Astrophysics


We extend the theory for MHD surface waves in a non-isothermal layer of finite thickness in two different examples. The first is a tangential “discontinuity” in which the magnetic field undergoes a rotational change in direction parallel to the layer with no change in amplitude. The second is a sheet pinch across which the field undergoes a change in amplitude with no rotation or reversal. The field amplitude does not go through zero in either of these examples. Bound, normal mode surface wave solutions are found to be supported by both the sheet pinch and tangential discontinuities in which the field vector undergoes a limited rotation of less that 90°. However, field rotation does not always remove singularities in the wave equations and wave decay through mode conversion can then occur.