Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection regimes: A review

D. I. Pontin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


The magnetic field in many astrophysical plasmas - such as the solar corona and Earth's magnetosphere - has been shown to have a highly complex, three-dimensional structure. Recent advances in theory and computational simulations have shown that reconnection in these fields also has a three-dimensional nature, in contrast to the widely used two-dimensional (or 2.5-dimensional) models. Here we discuss the underlying theory of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection. We also review a selection of new models that illustrate the current state of the art, as well as highlighting the complexity of energy release processes mediated by reconnection in complicated three-dimensional magnetic fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1508-1522
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2011


  • Magnetic fields
  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Magnetohydrodynamics


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