Hybrid Simulation of Magnetosheath Jet-Driven Bow Waves

Junyi Ren, Quanming Lu, Xinliang Gao, Michael Gedalin, Huixuan Qiu, Desheng Han, Rongsheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-speed jets (HSJs) are commonly observed in the Earth's magnetosheath. The HSJs can drive shock-like bow waves when compressing the ambient plasma, which are important for the HSJ's evolution and the energization of charged particles. Here we present the first two-dimensional hybrid simulation of the formation and evolution of jet-driven bow waves. The simulated bow waves exhibit localized enhanced magnetic field and ion density, with their peaks separated by the order of ion inertial length. The bow waves are formed when a super-magnetosonic HSJ encounters a magnetic structure with the magnetic field nearly perpendicular to the HSJ's velocity. The magnetic field structure acts as an obstacle to deflect and decelerate the jet, causing the pile up of ions on the jet side and the compression of the magnetic structure on the downstream side. Our study explains the observed properties of bow waves, and helps to better understand the evolution of HSJs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023GL106606
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 16 Mar 2024


  • bow wave
  • high-speed jet
  • shock wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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