Local Diagnosis of Reconnection in 3D

Monday, 15 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Jack D Scudder, Univ of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, United States, Homayoun Karimabadi, SciberQuest, Del Mar, CA, United States, William S Daughton, MS-F699, Plasma Theory and App, Los Alamos, NM, United States and Vadim Roytershteyn, SciberQuest, Inc, Atlanta, GA, United States
We demonstrate (I,II) an approach to find reconnection sites in 3D where there is no flux function for guidance, and where local observational signatures for the ``violation of frozen flux’’ are under developed, if not non-existent. We use 2D and 3D PIC simulations of asymmetric guide field reconnection to test our observational hierarchy of single spacecraft kinetic diagnostics - all possible with present state of the art instrumentation. The proliferation of turbulent, electron inertial scale layers in the realistic 3D case demonstrates that electron demagnetization, while necessary, is not sufficient to identify reconnection sites. An excellent local, observable, single spacecraft proxy is demonstrated for the size of the theoretical frozen flux violation. Since even frozen flux violations need not imply reconnection is at hand, a new calibrated dimensionless method is used to determine the importance of such violations. This measure is available in 2D and 3D to help differentiate reconnection layers from weaker frozen flux violating layers. We discuss the possibility that this technique can be implemented on MMS. A technique to highlight flow geometries conducive to reconnection in 3D simulations is also suggested, that may also be implementable with the MMS flotilla. We use local analysis with multiple necessary, but theoretically independent electron kinetic conditions to help reduce the probability of misidentification of any given layer as a reconnection site. Since these local conditions are all necessary for the site, but none is known to be sufficient, the multiple tests help to greatly reduce false positive identifications. The selectivity of the results of this approach using PIC simulations of 3D asymmetric guide field reconnection will be shown using varying numbers of simultaneous conditions.

Scudder, J.D., H. Karimabadi, W. Daughton and V. Roytershteyn I, II, submitted Phys. Plasma., 2014