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Journal Article

Field-aligned scale length of depleted structures associated with post-sunset equatorial plasma bubbles


Xiong,  Chao
External Organizations;


Lühr,  H.
2.3 Geomagnetism, 2.0 Geophysics, Departments, GFZ Publication Database, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum;

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Xiong, C., Lühr, H. (2023): Field-aligned scale length of depleted structures associated with post-sunset equatorial plasma bubbles. - Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, 13, 3.

Cite as: https://gfzpublic.gfz-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_5017635
In this study we make use of the Swarm counter-rotation constellation for estimating the typical scale length of the post-sunset equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs) along fluxtubes. The close approaches between Swarm spacecraft near the equator occurred in September and October 2021, covering the magnetic local time from 19:00 to 23:00, which is favorable for the occurrence of EPBs. It is the first time to show the quasi-simultaneously samplings by Swarm A/C and B of the same fluxtube but at different altitude. The observations frequently reveal plasma density depletions only at one spacecraft altitude, confirming that EPBs extend only over finite parts of the fluxtube. Based on a statistical analysis of double and single EPB detections on the same fluxtube, our results imply the typical field-aligned scale length of the depletion structures associated with EPBs of the order of 550 km. Our detections are from the lower part of the depleted fluxtubes, and they coincide well with the latitudes of the equatorial ionization anomaly. In the upper part of the fluxtube near the magnetic equator, our estimation technique does not work well because of too large field-aligned spacecraft separation of the Swarm satellites.