2.5D magnetohydrodynamic simulation of the formation and evolution of plasmoids in coronal current sheets

Sripan Mondal, Abhishek K. Srivastava*, David I. Pontin, Ding Yuan, Eric R. Priest

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present paper, using MPI-AMRVAC, we perform a 2.5D numerical magnetohydrodynamic simulation of the dynamics and associated thermodynamical evolution of an initially force-free Harris current sheet subjected to an external velocity perturbation under the condition of uniform resistivity. The amplitude of the magnetic field is taken to be 10 G, typical of the solar corona. We impose a Gaussian velocity pulse across this current sheet that mimics the interaction of fast magnetoacoustic waves with a current sheet in the corona. This leads to a variety of dynamics and plasma processes in the current sheet, which is initially quasi-static. The initial pulse interacts with the current sheet and splits into a pair of counterpropagating wavefronts, which form a rarefied region that leads to an inflow and a thinning of the current sheet. The thinning results in Petschek-type magnetic reconnection followed by a tearing instability and plasmoid formation. The reconnection outflows containing outward-moving plasmoids have accelerated motions with velocities ranging from 105 to 303 km s−1. The average temperature and density of the plasmoids are found to be 8 MK and twice the background density of the solar corona, respectively. These estimates of the velocity, temperature, and density of the plasmoids are similar to values reported from various solar coronal observations. Therefore, we infer that the external triggering of a quasi-static current sheet by a single-velocity pulse is capable of initiating magnetic reconnection and plasmoid formation in the absence of a localized enhancement of resistivity in the solar corona.
Original languageEnglish
Article number139
Number of pages15
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2024


  • Solar atmosphere
  • Solar corona
  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Magnetic fields
  • Solar magnetic reconnection


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