The correlation of longitudinal/seasonal variations of evening equatorial pre-reversal drift and of plasma bubbles
Abstract. The evening pre-reversal vertical drift velocity enhancement (PRE) constitutes an important seeding mechanism for the generation of F region irregularities. Ion density and drift measurements from ROCSAT-1 and DMSP satellites are used to examine the correlation of longitudinal/seasonal (l/s) variations in the evening pre-reversal vertical drift velocity at the magnetic equator in the topside ionosphere and the plasma bubble (PB) occurrence probability. The analysis performed for three years 2000–2002 (solar maximum), provides consistent evidence as the ground observations that the equatorial PB occurrence is dependent on and increases approximately linearly with PRE, and the l/s variations of PRE play an important role in the global l/s distribution of PB occurrence. The solstitial evening PRE and equatorial PB occurrence show similar longitudinal variations: During June solstice, two peaks appear in the African and Pacific longitude sectors, and two minimums are observed in the Indian and American regions; During December solstice, the situation is approximately opposite. The equinoctial longitudinal effects are comparably small. It is concluded that the large-scale l/s variations of equatorial PB occurrence can be closely related to the l/s variations of PRE.