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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 25, issue 1 | Copyright

Special issue: Nonlinear Waves and Chaos

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 25, 207-216, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 12 Mar 2018

Review article | 12 Mar 2018

Evolution of fractality in space plasmas of interest to geomagnetic activity

Víctor Muñoz1, Macarena Domínguez2, Juan Alejandro Valdivia1,3, Simon Good4,5, Giuseppina Nigro6, and Vincenzo Carbone6 Víctor Muñoz et al.
  • 1Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 2Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 3Centro para la Nanociencia y la Nanotecnología, CEDENNA, Santiago, Chile
  • 4Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 5The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, London, UK
  • 6Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria, Rende, Italy

Abstract. We studied the temporal evolution of fractality for geomagnetic activity, by calculating fractal dimensions from the Dst data and from a magnetohydrodynamic shell model for turbulent magnetized plasma, which may be a useful model to study geomagnetic activity under solar wind forcing. We show that the shell model is able to reproduce the relationship between the fractal dimension and the occurrence of dissipative events, but only in a certain region of viscosity and resistivity values. We also present preliminary results of the application of these ideas to the study of the magnetic field time series in the solar wind during magnetic clouds, which suggest that it is possible, by means of the fractal dimension, to characterize the complexity of the magnetic cloud structure.

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Short summary
Fractals are self-similar objects (which look the same at all scales), whose dimensions can be noninteger. They are mathematical concepts, useful to describe various physical systems, as the fractal dimension is a measure of their complexity. In this paper we study how these concepts can be applied to some problems in space plasmas, such as the activity of the Earth's magnetosphere, simulations of plasma turbulence, or identification of magnetic structures ejected from the Sun.
Fractals are self-similar objects (which look the same at all scales), whose dimensions can be...