Occurrence characteristics of plasma bubble derived from global ground-based GPS receiver networks



[1] Occurrence characteristic of plasma bubble was studied using ground-based GPS receiver networks. The occurrence rate of plasma bubble derived from the global GPS network has higher spatial and temporal resolution than that derived from the other observational techniques because of its wide coverage of the observation. The physical characteristics of plasma bubble occurrence were studied in detail with this novel data set. Twenty-three GPS receivers around the dip equator were used to reveal the occurrence from 2000 to 2006. Characteristics of the monthly occurrence rates were different among the regions. Although it was found that sunset time lag effect plays an important role for the monthly variation, two asymmetries which could not be explained with the sunset time lag scenario were found: (1) asymmetry between two solstices and (2) asymmetry between two equinoxes. The seasonal variation of the F-region conductivity integrated along the geomagnetic field line could partially explain the solstice asymmetry. Semiannual occurrence rates from 2000 to 2006 were used to study the year-to-year variation from the high solar activity period to the low solar activity period. The dependency of the occurrence on the solar activity was different among the regions. Occurrence rates against the latitude/altitude were investigated in the Asian region in 2004. It was found that the occurrence was high and constant for a station whose height on the dip equator (HODE) was less than 700 km. They began to decrease when HODE was higher than 700 km and was almost zero where it was higher than 900 km.