Petschek reconnection with a nonlocalized resistivity

H. Baty*, T. G. Forbes, E. R. Priest

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of using a nonlocalized electrical resistivity having a spatially asymmetric profile is considered on two-dimensional steady-state magnetic reconnection. Starting from an initial Harris current sheet, time-dependent magnetohydrodynamic simulations are carried out over an entire spatial domain without any symmetry assumptions. It is shown that a stationary Petschek-like reconnection is obtained in the half-plane where a uniform resistivity is adopted. The latter configuration is maintained by a coexisting Petschek configuration that is formed in the second half-plane where the resistivity exhibits a classical exponentially decreasing variation. The structure of the central diffusion region is asymmetric, with a stagnation point flow which does not coincide with the X -point. These results suggest conditions under which a Petschek solution can indeed exist in the presence of a small uniform resistivity in the whole domain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012102
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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