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Characterization of Magnetic Flux Contents for Flux Transfer Events and its Implications for Flux Rope Formation at the Earth's Magnetopause
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  • Shuo Wang,
  • Ying Zou,
  • Qiang Hu,
  • Xueling Shi,
  • Hiroshi Hasegawa
Shuo Wang
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
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Ying Zou
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
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Qiang Hu
University of Alabama in Huntsville

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Xueling Shi
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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Hiroshi Hasegawa
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, JAXA
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Flux transfer events (FTEs) are a type of magnetospheric phenomena that exhibit distinctive observational signatures from the in-situ spacecraft measurements across the Earth’s magnetopause. They are generally believed to possess a magnetic field configuration of a magnetic flux rope and formed through magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause, sometimes accompanied with enhanced plasma convection in the ionosphere. We examine two FTE events under the condition of southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) with a dawn-dusk component at the magnetopause by applying the Grad-Shafranov (GS) reconstruction method to the in-situ measurements by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft to derive the magnetic flux contents associated with the FTE flux ropes. In particular, given a cylindrical magnetic flux rope configuration derived from the GS reconstruction, the magnetic flux content can be characterized by both the toroidal (axial) and poloidal fluxes. We then estimate the amount of magnetic flux (i.e., the reconnection flux) encompassed by the area “opened” in the ionosphere, based on the ground-based Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) observations. We find that for event 1, the FTE flux rope is oriented in the approximate dawn-dusk direction, and the amount of its poloidal magnetic flux agrees with the corresponding reconnection flux. For event 2, the agreement among the estimates of the magnetic fluxes is uncertain. We provide a detailed description about our interpretation for the topological features of the FTE flux ropes, based on a formation scenario of sequential magnetic field reconnection between adjacent field lines, consistent with our results.
16 Sep 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
17 Oct 2023Published in ESS Open Archive