Structure and Evolution of Magnetic Reconnection and Flux Rope in the Magnetotail: A Three-Dimensional Global Hybrid Simulation

Monday, 15 December 2014
San Lu1, Yu Lin2, Quanming Lu1, Xueyi Wang2, Rongsheng Wang3, Can Huang1, Mingyu Wu1 and Shui Wang1, (1)University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China, (2)Auburn University, Auburn, AL, United States, (3)Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Structure and evolution of magnetic flux rope (FR) and reconnection in the magnetotail under southward IMF are studied using a newly developed three-dimensional (3-D) global hybrid simulation model. Under the southward IMF, dayside magnetic reconnection leads to a penetration of magnetic flux and energy into the magnetosphere. The magnetic flux and energy are then transported to the magnetotail, which leads to a current sheet thinning and subsequent magnetotail reconnection with multiple X-lines. The magnetotail reconnection is typical collisionless fast reconnection with Hall effect included. Multiple small-scale highly 3-D FRs are generated through the multiple X-lines reconnection. Both of the tailward and earthward moving FRs are observed in the near-tail plasma sheet, and detailed structure and evolution of the FRs are investigated. Coalescence between the FRs can also be observed during the evolution, which leads to the ion parallel heating inside the newly generated FRs. The ion velocity distributions and energy spectra show that the ions are accelerated in the vicinity of the reconnection X-lines. On the other hand, the ions are heated in the FRs and reconnection high-speed outflows.