The Tonga volcano eruption of 15 January 2022 unleashed a variety of atmospheric perturbations, coinciding with the recovery-phase of a geomagnetic storm. The ensuing thermospheric variations created rare display of extreme poleward-expanding conjugate plasma bubbles seen in the rate of total electron content index over 100–150°E, reaching ∼40°N geographic latitude. This is associated with fluctuations in FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (F7/C2) ion-density measurements and spread-F in ionograms. Preceding to this, an unusually strong pre-reversal enhancement (PRE) occurred in the global ionospheric specification (GIS) electron density profiles derived from F7/C2 observations. The GIS also revealed a decrease of equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) crest density due to the storm impact. Reduced E-region conductivity by volcano-induced waves and enhanced F-region wind, further accelerated by reduced ion-drag over the EIA, apparently intensified the PRE. Accompanied with the strong PRE, volcano-induced seed perturbations triggered the super plasma bubble activity.
- equatorial plasma bubbles
- global ionospheric specification
- ionospheric irregularities
- Tonga volcano eruption