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Effects of MHD shocks propagating along magnetic flux tubes in a dipole magnetic field

Erkaev N. V., Shaidurov V. A., Semenov V. S., Biernat H. K.
Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics. — 2002. — Vol. 9. — P. 163–172.

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Abstract

Variations of the plasma pressure in a magnetic flux tube can produce MHD waves evolving into shocks. In the case of a low plasma beta, plasma pressure pulses in the magnetic flux tube generate MHD slow shocks propagating along the tube. For converging magnetic field lines, such as in a dipole magnetic field, the cross section of the mag-netic flux tube decreases enormously with increasing mag-netic field strength. In such a case, the propagation of MHD waves along magnetic flux tubes is rather different from that in the case of uniform magnetic fields. In this paper, the propagation of MHD slow shocks is studied numerically us-ing the ideal MHD equations in an approximation suitable for a thin magnetic flux tube with a low plasma beta. The results obtained in the numerical study show that the jumps in the plasma parameters at the MHD slow shock increase greatly while the shock is propagating in the narrowing mag-netic flux tube. The results are applied to the case of the interaction between Jupiter and its satellite Io, the latter be-ing considered as a source of plasma pressure pulses.