Interaction Between an EMSTID and an EPB in the EIA Crest Region Over China

Few observations investigated the interaction between an electrical medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbance (EMSTID) and an equatorial plasma bubble (EPB). This paper presents another interaction between a southwestward propagating EMSTID and an eastward drifting EPB in the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) crest region of China. When the EMSTID and the EPB touched each other, several depletions of the EMSTID (EPB) showed the eastward (westward) velocity disturbances of the EPB (EMSTID) depletions. Besides, phase elongations of the EPB depletions contrarotated as the EMSTID propagated southwestward. However, of important finding is that the interaction of the EMSTID and the EPB could have polarized one depletion of the postmidnight EPB that should have become a fossilized bubble. Inside that polarized EPB depletion were meter-scale irregularities that caused activated radar echoes and enhanced ranged spread F (RSF). The interaction occurred in descending ionosphere and the lower density regions got filled up with an enhanced density plasma. We propose that the EMSTID and the EPB could have electrically coupled with each other, causing an enhanced polarization electric field (PEF) that polarized that EPB depletion; the E × B gradient drift instability (Kelley, 1989) could have caused the meter-scale irregularities when that enhanced PEF was imposed on that reactivated EPB depletion surrounded by that enhanced density plasma. This study provides observational evidence that how an electrical couple of EMSTID and EPB events can activate a postmidnight EPB depletion that should become a fossilized structure.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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