Sudden disruption of a thin current sheet in collisionless Hall magnetohydrodynamics due to secondary tearing and coalescence instabilities

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Abstract

A numerical simulation of impulsive growth and sudden disruption of a thin current sheet due to inward boundary flows in a collisionless plasma, governed by the equations of Hall magnetohydrodynamics, is presented. After a period of slow growth followed by a much shorter period of impulsive enhancement, the thin current sheet becomes unstable to secondary tearing instabilities which produce multiple islands. These secondary islands coalesce to form a large plasmoid. Much of the thin current sheet disrupts rapidly to produce magnetic turbulence in less than a characteristic Alfven time. Possible implications for magnetotail substorms are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3337-3340
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume26
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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