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Astronomy & Astrophysics manuscript no. (will be inserted by hand later)

Summary: Astronomy & Astrophysics manuscript no.
(will be inserted by hand later)
Magnetic reconnection in 2D stratified atmospheres
Part I. Dynamical consequences
Klaus Galsgaard 1 and Ilia Roussev 2;3
1 University of St. Andrews, School of Mathematics and Statistics, North Haugh, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9SS,
Scotland; e­mail: klaus@mcs.st­and.ac.uk
2 High Altitude Observatory, NCAR, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO 80301, USA; e­mail: ilr@ucar.edu
3 Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG, N. Ireland;
Received date, accepted date
Abstract. We explore the dynamical consequences of magnetic reconnection in a 2D stratified physical config­
uration representing a `quiet' solar environment. By including gravity, an initial magneto­hydrostatic solution
is found that allows the magnetic field to expand with height. The change in kinetic gas pressure with height
leads to the formation of a cold current `sheet' in the case of strong stratification, in contrast to a hot current
`sheet' in the case of negligible stratification. Here the `sheet' temperature is measured relative to the temperature
in the ambient background plasma. The dynamics of magnetic reconnection in a stratified atmosphere evolves
through a new initial stage, with a more complex velocity structure than the quadrupolar velocity pattern present
in traditional 2D X­point reconnection. As time progresses, the new initial phase is suppressed and the driven
reconnection evolves into the traditional 2D reconnection pattern. The transition time between the two regimes is
found to depend on the imposed stratification, and through this, on the degree of expansion of the initial magnetic


Source: Armagh Observatory


Collections: Physics