Global UltraViolet Imager

Continuous generation and two-dimensional structure of equatorial plasma bubbles observed by high-density GPS receivers in Southeast Asia

<p>High-density GPS receivers located in Southeast Asia (SEA) were utilized to study the two-dimensional structure of ionospheric plasma irregularities in the equatorial region. The longitudinal and latitudinal variations of tens of kilometer-scale irregularities associated with equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs) were investigated using two-dimensional maps of the rate of total electron content change index (ROTI) from 127 GPS receivers with an average spacing of about 50\textendash100 km. The longitudinal variations of the two-dimensional maps of GPS ROTI measurement on 5 April 2011 revealed that 16 striations of EPBs were generated continuously around the passage of the solar terminator. The separation distance between the subsequent onset locations varied from 100 to 550 km with 10 min intervals. The lifetimes of the EPBs observed by GPS ROTI measurement were between 50 min and over 7 h. The EPBs propagated 440\textendash3000 km toward the east with velocities of 83\textendash162 m s<sup>-1</sup>. The longitudinal variations of EPBs by GPS ROTI keogram coincided with the depletions of 630 nm emission observed using the airglow imager. Six EPBs were observed by GPS ROTI along the meridian of Equatorial Atmosphere Radar (EAR), while only three EPBs were detected by the EAR. The high-density GPS receivers in SEA have an advantage of providing time continuous descriptions of latitudinal/longitudinal variations of EPBs with both high spatial resolution and broad geographical coverage. The spatial periodicity of the EPBs could be associated with a wavelength of the quasiperiodic structures on the bottomside of the <em>F</em> region which initiate the Rayleigh-Taylor instability.</p>
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages
Date Published