Barriers in the transition to global chaos in collisionless magnetic reconnection. I. Ridges of the finite time Lyapunov exponent field

D. Borgogno, D. Grasso, F. Pegoraro, T. J. Schep
2011 Physics of Plasmas  
The transitional phase from local to global chaos in the magnetic field of a reconnecting current layer is investigated. Regions where the magnetic field is stochastic exist next to regions where the field is more regular. In regions between stochastic layers and between a stochastic layer and an island structure, the field of the finite time Lyapunov exponent (FTLE) shows a structure with ridges. These ridges, which are special gradient lines that are transverse to the direction of minimum
more » ... ature of this field, are approximate Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS) that act as barriers for the transport of field lines.
doi:10.1063/1.3647339 fatcat:26gahzp7anh2vc2xelypyfj6fa