EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Modeling Reconnection and Turbulence in the Magnetosphere on Kinetic Scales 

Wieslaw M. Macek1,2 and Szymon Gorka2
Wieslaw M. Macek and Szymon Gorka
  • 1Institute of Physical Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University, Warsaw, Poland (
  • 2Space Research Centre, Warsaw, Poland (

We consider magnetic turbulence using observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission on kinetic (ions and electron) scales, which are far shorter than the scales characteristic for description of plasma by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory. We have shown that a break of the magnetic spectral exponent to about -5.5 agrees with the predictions of kinetic theory (-16/3), see Ref. [1]. It is worth noting that the unprecedented very high (millisecond) resolution of the magnetic field instrument allowed to grasp the mechanism of reconnection in the magnetotail on kinetic scales, Ref. [2]. As expected from numerical simulations, we have verified that when the field lines and plasma become decoupled a large reconnecting electric field related to the Hall current (1–10 mV/m) is responsible for fast reconnection in the ion diffusion region both at the magnetopause and in the magnetotail regions. Although inertial accelerating forces remain moderate (1–2 mV/m), the electric fields resulting from the divergence of the full electron pressure tensor provide the main contribution to the generalized Ohm’s law at the neutral sheet (of the order of 10 mV/m), cf. [3]. This illustrates that when ions decouple electron physics dominates. The results obtained on kinetic scales may be useful for better understanding the physical mechanisms governing reconnection processes in various magnetized space and laboratory plasmas.

Acknowledgments. This work has been supported by the National Science Center, Poland (NCN), through grant No. 2021/41/B/ST10/00823.


1. Macek, W. M., Krasinska, A., Silveira, M. V. D., Sibeck, D. G., Wawrzaszek, A., Burch, J. L., & Russell, C. T. 2018, Magnetospheric Multiscale observations of turbulence in the magnetosheath on kinetic scales, Astrophys. J. Lett., 864, L29,

2. Macek, W. M., Silveira, M. V. D., Sibeck, D. G., Giles, B.L., & Burch, J. L. 2019a, Magnetospheric Multiscale mission observations of reconnecting electric fields in the magnetotail on kinetic scales, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, 10,295—10,302,

3. Macek, W. M., Silveira, M. V. D., Sibeck, D. G., Giles, B.L., & Burch, J. L. 2019, Mechanism of reconnection on kinetic scales based on Magnetospheric Multiscale mission observations, Astrophys. J. Lett., 885, L26,


How to cite: Macek, W. M. and Gorka, S.: Modeling Reconnection and Turbulence in the Magnetosphere on Kinetic Scales , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6120,, 2022.