EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A large-scale instability competing with Kelvin-Helmholtz at Mercury’s boundary layer

Jérémy Dargent1, Federico Lavorenti2,3, Pierre Henri2,3, and Francesco Califano1
Jérémy Dargent et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Fisica ‘E. Fermi’, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy (
  • 2LPC2E, CNRS, Orléans, France
  • 3Laboratoire Lagrange, CNRS, Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, Université Cote d’Azur, Nice, France

Magnetic reconnexion and Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability are usually recognized as the two main mixing processes along magnetopauses. However, a recent work [Dargent et al., 2019] showed that in Mercury’s conditions, another instability can grow faster than the KH instability along the magnetopause. This instability seems to rely on gradients of density and/or magnetic field and develops large-scales finger-like structures that prevents the growth of the KH vortices. In this work, I will characterize this instability and try to identify it. In particular, I will look at the dependance of the growth rate of this instability to the different parameters of the plasma and compare it to the growth rate of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.

How to cite: Dargent, J., Lavorenti, F., Henri, P., and Califano, F.: A large-scale instability competing with Kelvin-Helmholtz at Mercury’s boundary layer, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9413,, 2021.


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