Visualization and Analysis of Complex Reconnection using the CCMC's Kameleon-plus Access and Interpolation Library

Monday, 15 December 2014
Asher D Pembroke and Lutz Rastaetter, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The isolation and analysis of reconnection regions and topological separators within MHD models is crucial to gaining a systems-level understanding of the near-Earth space environment. However, existing methods for the partitioning of model volumes into distinct topological regions are prohibitively expensive. To address this problem, we have developed a unique fieldline-based volumetric data structure for simplifying the analysis of complex 3D magnetic reconnection and associated dynamics. When applied to Earth's magnetosphere, this allows us to quickly generate geometric approximations of topological separators and separatrices, to integrate associated parallel electric fields, and to compute momentum and energy flux out of the reconnection region. Simultaneously, our approach yields the mapping of the open-closed boundary and associated fluxes into the open field region at the model's inner boundary. The approach is flexible, respects model resolution, and is intimately tied to physically meaningful queries, such as the relationship between reconnection and entropy flows in the inner magnetosphere and dynamics in the tail current sheet. We implement this data structure as an underlying component of the Community Coordinated Modeling Center's Kameleon-plus access and interpolation software. Thus, all of our methods and tools will be made available to the larger space weather modeling community, and will be suitable for both researchers and educators.