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Reference: Mallet, A, Schekochihin, A, Chandran, BDG et al., (2016). Measures of three-dimensional anisotropy and intermittency in strong Alfvénic turbulence. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 459 (2), 2130-2139.Citable link to this page:


Measures of three-dimensional anisotropy and intermittency in strong Alfvénic turbulence

Abstract: We measure the local anisotropy of numerically simulated strong Alfvénic turbulence with respect to two local, physically relevant directions: along the local mean magnetic field and along the local direction of one of the fluctuating Elsasser fields. We find significant scaling anisotropy with respect to both these directions: the fluctuations are ‘ribbon-like’ – statistically, they are elongated along both the mean magnetic field and the fluctuating field. The latter form of anisotropy is due to scale-dependent alignment of the fluctuating fields. The intermittent scalings of thenth-order conditional structure functions in the direction perpendicular to both the local mean field and the fluctuations agree well with the theory of Chandran, Schekochihin & Mallet, while the parallel scalings are consistent with those implied by the critical-balance conjecture. We quantify the relationship between the perpendicular scalings and those in the fluctuation and parallel directions, and find that the scaling exponent of the perpendicular anisotropy (i.e. of the aspect ratio of the Alfvénic structures in the plane perpendicular to the mean magnetic field) depends on the amplitude of the fluctuations. This is shown to be equivalent to the anticorrelation of fluctuation amplitude and alignment at each scale. The dependence of the anisotropy on amplitude is shown to be more significant for the anisotropy between the perpendicular and fluctuation-direction scales than it is between the perpendicular and parallel scales.

Publication status:PublishedPeer Review status:Peer reviewedVersion:Publisher's versionDate of acceptance:2016-04-05 Funder: National Aeronautics and Space Administration   Funder: National Science Foundation   Funder: International Space Science Institute   Funder: Imperial College   Notes:© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publisher Website:

Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Societysee more from them

Publication Website:

Volume: 459

Issue: 2

Extent: 2130-2139

Issue Date: 2016-04



Issn: 1365-2966

Issn: 0035-8711

Uuid: uuid:b2ca956c-85a7-4c53-ab4e-933b40eddaf7

Urn: uri:b2ca956c-85a7-4c53-ab4e-933b40eddaf7

Pubs-id: pubs:580190 Item Description

Type: journal-article;

Version: Publisher's versionKeywords: MHD turbulence solar wind


Author: Mallet, A - - - Schekochihin, A - Oxford, MPLS, Physics, Theoretical Physics - - - Chandran, BDG - - - Chen, CHK - - - Horbury, T



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