Work Description

Title: Maximum Spreading Speed for Magnetopause Reconnection: Model Dataset Open Access Deposited
Attribute Value
  • The dataset was created using the Space Weather Modeling Framework, which couples and executes two models: the BATS-R-US ideal magnetohydrodynamics model and the Ridley Ionosphere Model.
  • The goal of this simulation was to examine the spread of magnetic reconnection across the dayside magnetopause upon the arrival of a tangential discontinuity of the interplanetary magnetic field from a purely northward to southward configuration. Simple solar wind conditions were used to give us input into the system. A very high resolution grid setup was used in BATS-R-US.
Contact information
Funding agency
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
ORSP grant number
  • F042036
Citations to related material
  • Walsh, B. M., Welling, D. T.,Zou, Y., & Nishimura, Y. (2018). A maximum spreading speed for magnetopause reconnection. Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 5268–5273.
Resource type
Last modified
  • 01/31/2020
  • 05/07/2018
To Cite this Work:
Welling, D., Walsh, B. (2018). Maximum Spreading Speed for Magnetopause Reconnection: Model Dataset [Data set], University of Michigan - Deep Blue Data.


Files (Count: 8; Size: 17.6 GB)

TITLE: Maximum Spreading Speed for Magnetopause Reconnection: Model Dataset
AUTHORS: Daniel Welling, Brian Walsh
GRANT: F042036(National Science Foundation (NSF))

This simulation tests the rate at which reconnection spreads across the
dayside magnetopause during a fast transition from northward to southward
IMF. IMF is intialized as southward -2 for 2 hrs, flip weakly northward (+2)
for 6 hours, then southward -5 for INF.

The file contains the model configuration inputs
required to reproduce the results. imf.dat contains the time dependent
upstream conditions.

Files beginning with "y=0_mhd" contain the MHD results
in the y=0 plane. Files prefixed with "y=0_ray" contain the results of field
line ray tracing, which contains the open-closed field boundary and the status
of the field line. Similarly, files that begin with "z=0" contain results from
the z=0 plane. "it*.idl" files are ionospheric electrodynamic output files.
They contain the state of the ionosphere at all latitudes during the
simulation. Other files are simple log files with summary variables,
indices, etc.

*.out files are in a binary format designed specifically for BATS-R-US.
The files can be read either via the IDL software library included with
the SWMF (see the link below) or via the Spacepy/pybats software library,
freely available via

Other files are in plain-text ASCII and can be read via a variety of methods.
Python methods and objects for efficiently reading and handling these files
are available in the Spacepy library.

The numerical model used to create this simulation is the Space Weather Modeling
Framework (SWMF) with two components: GM/BATS-R-US magnetohydrodynamics and
IE/Ridley_serial for the ionospheric electrodynamics. The references
below contain information on the development, method, and physics covered
by these models. The model source code can be obtained by visiting

Tóth, G., Sokolov, I. V., Gombosi, T. I., Chesney, D. R., Clauer, C. R., De Zeeuw, D. L., … Kóta, J. (2005). Space Weather Modeling Framework: A new tool for the space science community. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110(A12), A12226.
Tóth, G., van der Holst, B., Sokolov, I. V., De Zeeuw, D. L., Gombosi, T. I., Fang, F., … Opher, M. (2012). Adaptive numerical algorithms in space weather modeling. Journal of Computational Physics, 231(3), 870–903.
Powell, K., Roe, P., & Linde, T. (1999). A solution-adaptive upwind scheme for ideal magnetohydrodynamics. Journal of Computational Physics, 154(2), 284–309.
De Zeeuw, D. L., Gombosi, T. I., Groth, C. P. T., Powell, K. G., & Stout, Q. F. (2000). An adaptive MHD method for global space weather simulations. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 28(6), 1956–1965.
Ridley, A. J., Gombosi, T. I., & DeZeeuw, D. L. (2004). Ionospheric control of the magnetosphere: conductance. Annales Geophysicae, 22(2), 567–584.
Ridley, A. J., De Zeeuw, D. L., Gombosi, T. I., & Powell, K. G. (2001). Using steady state MHD results to predict the global state of the magnetosphere-ionosphere system. Journal of Geophysical Research, 106(A12), 30067.

In press; DOI 10.1029/2018GL078230

This data set is made available under a Creative Commons Public Domain license (CC0 1.0).

Welling, D., Walsh, D. (2018). Maximum Spreading Speed for Magnetopause Reconnection: Model Dataset. University of Michigan Deep Blue Data Repository.

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