The spherical tearing mode

S. Hu, A. Bhattacharjee, J. Dorelli, J. M. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The spherical tearing mode is the three-dimensional analog of the classical tearing mode in two dimensions. In three dimensions, loops of field lines connecting magnetic nulls play the role of separatrices. A numerical study of the tearing instability of a three-dimensional analytic equilibrium containing a closed spherical tearing surface composed of null-null lines is presented. A new fast tearing instability is identified. Implications of this model for global models of reconnection at the dayside magnetopause are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L19806 1-4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 16 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • 2724 Magnetospheric Physics: Magnetopause, cusp, and boundary layers
  • 2740 Magnetospheric Physics: Magnetospheric configuration and dynamics
  • 2752 Magnetospheric Physics: MHD waves and instabilities
  • 2784 Magnetospheric Physics: Solar wind/magnetosphere interactions


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