A time-dependent model for magnetic reconnection in the presence of a separator

A. L. Wilmot-Smith, G. Hornig

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    We present a model for separator reconnection due to an isolated reconnection process. Separator reconnection is a process which occurs in the neighborhood of a distinguished field line (the separator) connecting two null points of a magnetic field. It is, for example, important for the dynamics of magnetic flux at the dayside magnetopause and in the solar corona. We find that, above a certain threshold, such a reconnection process generates new separators, which leads to a complex system of magnetic flux tubes connecting regions of previously separated flux. Our findings are consistent with the findings of large numbers of separators in numerical simulations. We discuss how to measure and interpret the reconnection rate in a configuration with multiple separators.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number89
    Pages (from-to)-
    Number of pages12
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2011


    • Magnetic fields
    • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
    • Plasmas
    • Solar-terrestrial relations
    • Sun: corona
    • 3-dimensional null points
    • Kinematic reconnection
    • Aligned current
    • Solar corona
    • 3 dimensions
    • Flux
    • Dynamics
    • Fields
    • Skeletons
    • Evolution


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