It is well known that most MHD shocks observed within 1 AU are MHD fast shocks. Only a very limited number of MHD slow shocks are observed within 1 AU. In order to understand why there are only a few MHD slow shocks observed within 1 AU, we use a one-dimensional, time-dependent MHD code with an adaptive grid to study the generation and evolution of interplanetary slow shocks (ISS) in the solar wind. Results show that a negative, nearly square-wave perturbation will generate a pair of slow shocks (a forward and a reverse slow shock). In addition, the forward and the reverse slow shocks can pass through each other without destroying their characteristics, but the propagating speeds for both shocks are decreased. A positive, square-wave perturbation will generate both slow and fast shocks. When a forward slow shock (FSS) propagates behind a forward fast shock (FFS), the former experiences a decreasing Mach number. In addition, the FSS always disappears within a distance of 150R. (where R. is one solar radius) from the Sun when there is a forward fast shock (with Mach number greater than or equal to 1.7) propagating in front of the FSS. In all tests that we have performed, we have not discovered that the FSS (or reverse slow shock) evolves into a FFS (or reverse fast shock). Thus, we do not confirm the FSS-FFS evolution as suggested by Whang (1987).
ANNALES GEOPHYSICAE-ATMOSPHERES HYDROSPHERES AND SPACE SCIENCES