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Global-scale hybrid simulation of dayside magnetic reconnection under southward IMF: Structure and evolution of reconnection


Magnetopause reconnection is investigated with our 3-D self-consistent global hybrid simulation model. The magnetic configuration and evolution of Flux Transfer Events (FTEs) and the associated ion density and ion velocity distribution at various locations on the magnetopause are investigated. The results reveal the following. (1) Multiple X lines are formed during the magnetopause reconnection, which lead to both FTEs and quasi-steady-type reconnection under a steady solar wind condition. The resulting bipolar signature of local normal magnetic field of FTEs is consistent with satellite observations. (2) A greater-than-20% plasma temperature rise is seen at the center of a FTE, compared to that of the upstream plasma in the magnetosheath. The temperature enhancement is mainly in the direction parallel to the magnetic field because of the mixing of ion beams. (3) Flux ropes that lead to FTEs form between X lines of finite lengths and evolve relatively independently. The ion density is enhanced within FTE flux ropes because of the trapped particles, leading to a filamentary global density. (4) Different from the previous understanding based on the asymmetric density across the magnetopause, a quadrupole magnetic field signature associated with the Hall effects is found to be present around FTEs. (5) A combination of patchy reconnection and multiple X line reconnection leads to the formation of reconnected field lines from the magnetosphere to IMF, as well as the closed field lines from the magnetosphere to the magnetosphere in the magnetopause boundary layer.