Hoilijoki, Sanni; Ganse, Urs; Pfau-Kempf, Yann; Cassak, Paul A.; Walsh, Brian M.; Hietala, Heli; von Alfthan, Sebastian; Palmroth, Minna
(2017)
We present results from a first study of the local reconnection rate and reconnection site motion in a 2D-3V global magnetospheric self-consistent hybrid-Vlasov simulation with due southward interplanetary magnetic field. We observe magnetic reconnection at multiple locations at the dayside magnetopause and the existence of magnetic islands, which are the 2-D representations of flux transfer events. The reconnection locations (the X lines) propagate over significant distances along the magnetopause, and reconnection does not reach a steady state. We calculate the reconnection rate at the location of the X lines and find a good correlation with an analytical model of local 2-D asymmetric reconnection. We find that despite the solar wind conditions being constant, the reconnection rate and location of the X lines are highly variable. These variations are caused by magnetosheath fluctuations, the effects of neighboring X lines, and the motion of passing magnetic islands.