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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 3, issue 4
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 3, 247–261, 1996
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-3-247-1996
© Author(s) 1996. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Special issue: Papers presented at the MFGA-IDT2 workshop: Astrophysical...

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 3, 247–261, 1996
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-3-247-1996
© Author(s) 1996. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  31 Dec 1996

31 Dec 1996

Solar wind low-frequency magnetohydrodynamic turbulence: extended self-similarity and scaling laws

V. Carbone, P. Veltri1, and R. Bruno2 V. Carbone et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Fisica, Universitá della Calabria, 87036 Roges di Rende, Italy
  • 2Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario / CNR c.p. 00044 Frascati, Italy

Abstract. In this paper we review some of the work done in investigating the scaling properties of Magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, by using velocity fluctuations measurements performed in the interplanetary space plasma by the Helios spacecraft. The set of scaling exponents ξq for the q-th order velocity structure functions, have been determined by using the Extended Self-Similarity hypothesis. We have found that the q-th order velocity structure function, when plotted vs. the 4-th order structure function, displays a range of self-similarity which extends over all the lengths covered by measurements, thus allowing for a very good determination of ξq. Moreover the results seem to show that the scaling exponents are the same regardless the various observation periods considered. The obtained scaling exponents have been compared with the results of some intermittency models for Kraichnan's turbulence, derived in the framework of infinitely divisible fragmentation processes, showing the good agreement between these models and our observations. Finally, on the basis of the actually available data sets, we show that scaling laws in Solar Wind turbulence seem to be different from turbulent scaling laws in the ordinary fluid flows. This is true for high-order velocity structure functions, while low-order velocity structure functions show the same scaling laws. Since our measurements involve length scales which extend over many order of magnitude where dissipation is practically absent, our results show that Solar Wind turbulence can be regarded as a testing bench for the investigation of general scaling behaviour in turbulent flows. In particular our results strongly support the point of view which attributes a key role to the inertial range dynamics in determining the intermittency characteristics in fluid flows, in contrast with the point of view which attributes intermittency to a finite Reynolds number effect.

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