Investigation of equatorial plasma bubble irregularities under different geomagnetic conditions during the equinoxes and the occurrence of plasma bubble suppression


Timocin E., Inyurt S., Temucin H. , Ansari K., Jamjareegulgarn P.

ACTA ASTRONAUTICA, vol.177, pp.341-350, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 177
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2020.08.007
  • Title of Journal : ACTA ASTRONAUTICA
  • Page Numbers: pp.341-350
  • Keywords: Geomagnetic storms, Equatorial ionopsheric irregularities, Equatorial plasma bubbles, Equatorial ionization anomaly

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the behavior of equatorial plasma bubble irregularities under different geomagnetic conditions during March 2015 and September 2017. It was used Total Electron Content (TEC) data obtained from SGOC (6,89 degrees N, 79,87 degrees E), IISC (12,94 degrees N, 77,57 degrees E) and HYDE (17,40 degrees N, 78,50 degrees E) receiver stations which located between the trough and the crest of the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA). We used the Rate of TEC change (ROT) and Rate of TEC change index (ROTI) to represent plasma bubbles irregularities. These indices are a well proxy for the ionospheric fluctuations and can be used to describe features of plasma bubbles irregularities. The equatorial plasma bubble irregularities for all stations were observed between 13 UT and 20 UT (during postsunset period) during equinoxes. The intensity level of ROTI during postsunset periods was greater than 1 TECU min(-1). Also, the values of mean ROTI (ROTIave) between 13 UT and 20 UT have values greater than 0,4 TECU min(-1) while the values of ROTIave at the other hours have values less than 0,4 TECU min(-1). The geomagnetic activity has a significant effect on the occurrence of equatorial plasma bubbles irregularities. The occurrence rate of equatorial plasma bubble irregularities observed during postsunset hours increased as geomagnetic activity increases. It also was observed that the main phases of geomagnetic storms have the triggering effect of storms on equatorial plasma bubble irregularities observed at postsunset hours while the recovery phases of geomagnetic storms have the suppression effect of storms on equatorial plasma bubble irregularities. Asymmetry between two equinoxes was observed. The occurrence rate of equatorial plasma bubble irregularities in the March equinox was much larger than that of the September equinox. The occurrence probability of equatorial plasma bubbles for March Equinox was maximum with 45,1% at 17 UT while the occurrence probability of equatorial plasma bubbles for September Equinox was maximum with 11,5% at 16 UT. The enhancements and reductions in the latitudinal gradient of VTEC show similar behaviors with the occurrence of equatorial plasma irregularities. The EIA during postsunset hours contributes significantly to the occurrence of equatorial plasma bubbles irregularities.