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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 36, issue 2 | Copyright

Special issue: Space weather connections to near-Earth space and the...

Ann. Geophys., 36, 497-507, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 23 Mar 2018

Regular paper | 23 Mar 2018

Non-Gaussianity and cross-scale coupling in interplanetary magnetic field turbulence during a rope–rope magnetic reconnection event

Rodrigo A. Miranda1,2, Adriane B. Schelin2, Abraham C.-L. Chian3,4,5, and José L. Ferreira2 Rodrigo A. Miranda et al.
  • 1UnB-Gama Campus, University of Brasília (UnB), Brasília DF 70910-900, Brazil
  • 2Plasma Physics Laboratory, Institute of Physics, University of Brasília (UnB), Brasília DF 70910-900, Brazil
  • 3School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
  • 4Institute of Aeronautical Technology (ITA), São José dos Campos, SP 12228-900, Brazil
  • 5National Institute for Space Research (INPE), P.O. Box 515, São José dos Campos, SP 12227-010, Brazil

Abstract. In a recent paper (Chian et al., 2016) it was shown that magnetic reconnection at the interface region between two magnetic flux ropes is responsible for the genesis of interplanetary intermittent turbulence. The normalized third-order moment (skewness) and the normalized fourth-order moment (kurtosis) display a quadratic relation with a parabolic shape that is commonly observed in observational data from turbulence in fluids and plasmas, and is linked to non-Gaussian fluctuations due to coherent structures. In this paper we perform a detailed study of the relation between the skewness and the kurtosis of the modulus of the magnetic field |B| during a triple interplanetary magnetic flux rope event. In addition, we investigate the skewness–kurtosis relation of two-point differences of |B| for the same event. The parabolic relation displays scale dependence and is found to be enhanced during magnetic reconnection, rendering support for the generation of non-Gaussian coherent structures via rope–rope magnetic reconnection. Our results also indicate that a direct coupling between the scales of magnetic flux ropes and the scales within the inertial subrange occurs in the solar wind.

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Short summary
The solar wind is a tenuous turbulent plasma permeating the interplanetary space and is not well understood. A complex process called magnetic reconnection can act as a source of solar wind turbulence. Here we study this process using statistics. We demonstrate that high-order statistics of the magnetic field display a parabolic relation that is enhanced when magnetic reconnection occurs. Our results can help us understand the nature of solar wind turbulence.
The solar wind is a tenuous turbulent plasma permeating the interplanetary space and is not well...