The Theory of FTE Stochastic Percolation Model

  1. C. T. Russell,
  2. E. R. Priest and
  3. L. C. Lee
  1. M. M. Kuznetsova and
  2. L. M. Zelenyi

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM058p0473

Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes

Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes

How to Cite

Kuznetsova, M. M. and Zelenyi, L. M. (1990) The Theory of FTE Stochastic Percolation Model, in Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes (eds C. T. Russell, E. R. Priest and L. C. Lee), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM058p0473

Author Information

  1. Space Research Institute, Academy of Science, U.S.S.R.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1990

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900261

Online ISBN: 9781118663868



  • Solar photosphere;
  • Magnetic flux;
  • Astrophysics


Stochactic percolation model of spontaneous localized reconnection of magnetic field lines through the magnetopause current layer (MCL) due to the growth of multiple collisionless tearing-mode within it is proposed. The suggested mechanism of magnetic reconnection for plasma without collisions or noise is based on an intrinsic property of MCL—the presence of magnetic shear there. Reconnection appears to be a complex irregular multiscale process associated with the diffusion of magnetic field on self-consistently generated magnetic turbulence. We call this process magnetic percolation to emphasize its stochastic turbulent nature and finally it results in establishing of a topological connection of field lines on both sides of the MCL. There are two bounds on the thickness of the MCL L 0 for the formation of reconnection “patchy” with characteristic spatial scales along magnetopause λ z × λ y . One is related to the conditions of linear destabilization the tearing perturbation with wave length λ z at all magnetic surfaces within the MCL. The other is associated with the diffusion of magnetic field lines and is govemed by the width w* of nonlinear saturation of the magnetic island growth—the length of magnetic field line that accomplished the diffusion S0L2 0 /w*3 k should not exceed λ y . Further behavior of such percolated field lines depends on the specific global magnetic field and plasma flow pattern and may be coupled with some macroscopic models of FTE formation through the diffusion term. For MCL with thicknesses below the critical value the diffusion of a single “elementary” magnetic filament is rather fast process. So during the time which the reconnection “patchy” spend in the stagnation area the whole bunch of percolated field lines can gather to form the FTE magnetic tube. The average angle at which this FTE tube of percolated magnetic lines “transects” the magnetopause surface depends on the level of magnetic turbulence within the MCL. Two possible geometries of the FTE tube (elbow-shaped and extended along the magnetopause) are discussed.