Equatorial Plasma Bubbles: Effect of Thermospheric Winds Modulated by DE3 Tidal Waves
A hypothesis about the effect of the tropospheric source on the longitudinal distributions of the equatorial plasma bubbles observed in the topside ionosphere was proposed earlier. It was supposed that this influence is transferred mainly by the thermospheric winds modulated by the DE3 tropospheric tidal waves. This conclusion was based on the discovered high degree correlation (R ≅ 0.79) between the variations of the longitudinal distribution of the plasma bubbles and the neutral atmospheric density. In this work, the hypothesis of the effect of the thermospheric tidal waves on the plasma bubbles at the stage of their generation is subjected to further verification. With this purpose, the longitudinal distributions of the frequency of the plasma bubble observations at the different ionospheric altitudes (~600 km, ROCSAT-1; ~1100 km, ISS-b) are analyzed; their principal similarity is revealed. Comparative analysis of these distributions with the longitudinal profile of the deviations of the zonal thermospheric wind (~400 km, CHAMP) modulated by the DE3 tidal wave is carried out; their considerable correlation (R ≅ 0.69) is revealed. We conclude that the longitudinal variations of the zonal wind associated with DE3 tidal waves can effect the longitudinal variations in the appearance frequency of the initial “seeding” perturbations, which further evolve into the plasma bubbles.
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