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Title: Mass and energy transfer across the Earth's magnetopause caused by vortex-induced reconnection: Mass and energy transfer by K-H vortex

When the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is strongly northward, a boundary layer that contains a considerable amount of plasma of magnetosheath origin is often observed along and earthward of the low-latitude magnetopause. Such a pre-existing boundary layer, with a higher density than observed in the adjacent magnetosphere, reduces the local Alfvén speed and allows the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI) to grow more strongly. We employ a three-dimensional fully kinetic simulation to model an event observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission in which the spacecraft detected substantial KH waves between a pre-existing boundary layer and the magnetosheath during strong northward IMF. Initial results of this simulation [Nakamura et al., 2017] have successfully demonstrated ion-scale signatures of magnetic reconnection induced by the non-linearly developed KH vortex, which are quantitatively consistent with MMS observations. Furthermore, we quantify the simulated mass and energy transfer processes driven by this vortex-induced reconnection (VIR) and show that during this particular MMS event (i) mass enters a new mixing layer formed by the VIR more efficiently from the pre-existing boundary layer side than from the magnetosheath side, (ii) mixed plasmas within the new mixing layer convect tailward along the magnetopause at more than half the magnetosheath flow speed,more » and (iii) energy dissipation in localized VIR dissipation regions results in a strong parallel electron heating within the mixing layer. Finally, the quantitative agreements between the simulation and MMS observations allow new predictions that elucidate how the mass and energy transfer processes occur near the magnetopause during strong northward IMF.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ;  [5] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [6]
  1. Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz (Austria). Space Research Inst.
  2. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Lab. for Atmospheric and Space Physics
  3. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba (Japan). Inst. of Space and Astronautical Science
  4. Kyoto Univ. (Japan). Research Inst. for Sustainable Humanosphere
  5. Swedish Inst. of Space Physics, Uppsala (Sweden); Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). National Space Science Center
  6. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9380; TRN: US1703056
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; AC05-00OR22725; NNX08AO84G; NNX16AF75G; NNH13AV261
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9380
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; Heliospheric and Magnetospheric Physics; magnetic reconnection, turbulence, kelvin-helmholtz, transport, magnetopause
OSTI Identifier: