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The non-linear evolution of magnetic reconnection in collisionless and weakly collisional regimes is analysed on the basis of a two-dimensional incompressible fluid model. The initial equilibria are unstable to tearing modes. In the limit where the stability parameter is relatively large, the mode structure is characterised by global convective cells. The system exhibits a quasi-explosive time behaviour in the early non-linear stage, where the fluid displacement is larger than the inertial skin depth, but smaller than the typical size of the convective cells. The reconnection time is an order of magnitude shorter than the Sweet-Parker time for values of the inertial skin depth, of the ion Larmor radius and of the magnetic Reynolds number typical of the core of magnetic fusion experiments. The reconnection process is accompanied by the formation of a current density sub-layer narrower than the skin depth.

Additional information

Authors: OTTAVIANI M, JET Joint Undertaking, Abingdon, Oxon. (GB);PORCELLI F, JET Joint Undertaking, Abingdon, Oxon. (GB)
Bibliographic Reference: Report: JET-P(95)04 EN (1995) 37 pp.
Availability: Available from the Publications Officer, JET Joint Undertaking, Abingdon, Oxon. OX14 3EA (GB)
Record Number: 199510795 / Last updated on: 1995-07-17
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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