Equatorial plasma bubbles with enhanced ion and electron temperatures

Jaeheung Park, Kyoung Wook Min, Vitaly P. Kim, Hyosub Kil, Shin Yi Su, Chi Kuang Chao, Jae Jin Lee

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While the ion and electron temperatures inside equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs) are normally lower than those in an ambient plasma, bubbles with enhanced temperatures (BETs) are found occasionally in the topside ionosphere. Here we report the characteristics of BETs identified from observations of the first Republic of China Satellite (ROCSAT-), the first Korea Multi-purpose Satellite (KOMPSAT-1), and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F15 during the solar maximum period between 2000 and 2001. The oxygen ion fraction inside the BETs, which was no lower than that of the ambient ionosphere, was similar to the case of ordinary low-temperature EPBs. These observations indicate that the BETs and low-temperature EPBs detected on the topside were produced by the upward drift of low-density plasma from lower altitudes. The feature that distinguishes BETs from normal EPBs is the occurrence of an unusually fast poleward field-aligned plasma flow relative to the ambient plasma. The BETs occurred preferentially around geomagnetic latitudes of 10° in the summer hemisphere, where the ambient ion and electron temperatures are lower than those in the conjugate winter hemisphere. The occurrence of BETs did not show any notable dependence on geomagnetic activities. The characteristics of the BETs suggest that the BETs were produced by adiabatic plasma heating associated with a fast poleward oxygen ion transport along magnetic flux tubes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA09318
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2008


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