Grad-Shafranov Reconstruction of Earth's Magnetopause With Temperature Anisotropy

G. W. Chen, L. N. Hau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Grad-Shafranov (GS) reconstruction may recover the steady two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium structure from single spacecraft data. In this study we report first results on magnetopause structure from a newly developed GS solver that includes the effects of temperature anisotropy and field-aligned flow. Double-polytropic laws are used as energy closure to describe various thermodynamic states for anisotropic plasmas including double-adiabatic and isothermal conditions as special cases. The new GS solver is benchmarked and applied to a Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms magnetopause crossing event with field-aligned flow and p > p, where p and p are the pressure components perpendicular and parallel to the local magnetic field, respectively. The recovered magnetic field maps for various thermodynamic conditions show qualitatively similar features with magnetic islands imbedded within the magnetopause current. The mirror-type anisotropy with p > p may lead to relatively inflated magnetic islands as compared to the isotropic case, consistent with earlier theoretical prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7358-7369
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Grad-Shafranov reconstruction
  • magnetic reconnection
  • magnetopause


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