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THE FORMATION OF ROTATIONAL DISCONTINUITIES IN COMPRESSIVE THREE-DIMENSIONAL MHD TURBULENCE

Abstracts

Measurements of solar wind turbulence reveal the ubiquity of discontinuities. In this study we investigate how the discontinuities, especially rotational discontinuities (RDs), are formed in MHD turbulence. In a simulation of the decaying compressive three-dimensional (3D) MHD turbulence with an imposed uniform background magnetic field, we detect RDs with sharp field rotations and little variations of magnetic field intensity, as well as mass density. At the same time, in the de Hoffman-Teller frame, the plasma velocity is nearly in agreement with the Alfven speed, and is field-aligned on both sides of the discontinuity. We take one of the identified RDs to analyze its 3D structure and temporal evolution in detail. By checking the magnetic field and plasma parameters, we find that the identified RD evolves from the steepening of the Alfven wave with moderate amplitude, and that steepening is caused by the nonuniformity of the Alfven speed in the ambient turbulence.
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Keywords: solar wind; turbulence;
Journal:ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL
Recommended references: Yang, Liping,Zhang, Lei,He, Jiansen,Tu, Chuanyi,Wang, Linghua,Marsch, Eckart,Wang, Xin,Zhang, Shaohua,Feng, Xueshang.(2016).THE FORMATION OF ROTATIONAL DISCONTINUITIES IN COMPRESSIVE THREE-DIMENSIONAL MHD TURBULENCE.ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL.[ChinaXiv:201605.01570] (Click&Copy)
Version History
[V1] 2016-05-12 12:38:28 chinaXiv:201605.01570V1 Download
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