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1. chinaXiv:201605.01576 [pdf]

OCCURRENCE RATES AND HEATING EFFECTS OF TANGENTIAL AND ROTATIONAL DISCONTINUITIES AS OBTAINED FROM THREE-DIMENSIONAL SIMULATION OF MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC TURBULENCE

Zhang, Lei; He, Jiansen; Tu, Chuanyi; Yang, Liping; Wang, Xin; Marsch, Eckart; Wang, Linghua
Subjects: Geosciences >> Space Physics

MHD discontinuities are ubiquitous in the solar wind and are often found at the origin of turbulence intermittency. They may also play a key role in the turbulence dissipation and heating of the solar wind. The tangential discontinuities (TDs) and rotational discontinuities (RDs) are the two most important types of discontinuities. Recently, the connection between turbulence intermittency and proton thermodynamics has been observationally investigated. Here, we present numerical results from a three-dimensional MHD simulation with pressure anisotropy and we define new methods for identifying and distinguishing TDs and RDs. Three statistical results obtained for the relative occurrence rates and heating effects are highlighted: (1) RDs tend to take up the majority of the discontinuities along with time;(2) the thermal states embedding TDs tend to be associated with extreme plasma parameters or instabilities while RDs do not;(3) TDs have a higher average T as well as perpendicular temperature T.. The simulation shows that TDs and RDs evolve and contribute to solar wind heating differently. These results will improve our understanding of the mechanisms that generate discontinuities and cause plasma heating.

submitted time 2016-05-12 Hits1255Downloads766 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201605.01570 [pdf]

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

Yang, Liping; Zhang, Lei; He, Jiansen; Tu, Chuanyi; Wang, Linghua; Marsch, Eckart; Wang, Xin; Zhang, Shaohua; Feng, Xueshang
Subjects: Geosciences >> Space Physics

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.

submitted time 2016-05-12 Hits1333Downloads734 Comment 0

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