A three dimensional magnetohydrodynamic pulse in a transversely inhomogeneous medium
Physics Department, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK
Corresponding author: D. Tsiklauri, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 11 July 2002
Interaction of impulsively generated MHD waves with a one-dimensional plasma inhomogeneity, transverse to the magnetic field, is considered in the three-dimensional regime. Because of the transverse inhomogeneity, MHD fluctuations, even if they do not include initially any density perturbation, evolve toward states where the compressible components tend to become predominant. The propagating MHD pulse asymptotically reaches a quasi-steady state with the final levels of density perturbation weakly depending on the degree of non-planeness of the pulse in the homogeneous transverse direction and somewhat stronger depending on plasma β. Our study demonstrates the necessity of incorporation of compressible and 3D effects in theory of Alfvén wave phase mixing. However, as far as the dynamics of weakly non-plane Alfvén waves is concerned it can still be qualitatively understood in terms of the previous 2.5D models.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / waves / Sun: activity / Sun: solar wind
© ESO, 2002