Effects of solar and geomagnetic activity on the occurrence of equatorial plasma bubbles over Hong Kong

Sanjay Kumar, Wu Chen, Zhizhao Liu, Shengyue Ji

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, the occurrence and characteristics of equatorial plasma bubble (EPB) has been analyzed using the GPS data from continuously operating reference stations network over Hong Kong during 2001–2012. The analysis found maximum EPB occurrences during the equinoctial months and minimum EPB occurrences during the December solstice throughout 2001–2012 except during the solar minimum in 2007–2009. The maximum EPB occurrences were observed in June solstice during 2007–2008, whereas for 2009, EPB occurrences were quite higher for June solstice but slightly smaller than the March equinox. The seasonal maximum in EPB occurrences have been discussed in terms of plasma density seed perturbation caused by gravity waves as well as the post sunset F-layer rise due to the pre-reversal enhancement of zonal electric field. Generally, EPB occurrences are found to be more prominent during nighttime hours (19:00–24:00 h) than daytime hours. The day and nighttime EPB occurrences were inferred and found to vary linearly with solar activity and have an annual correlation coefficient (R) of ~ 0.92 with F10.7cm solar flux and ~0.88 with sunspot number. Moreover, the impact of solar activity on EPB occurrences is found to be dependent on seasons with maximum during the equinox (R = 0.80) and minimum during the summer season (R = 0.68). The detail study of EPB occurrences during two typical cases of geomagnetic storms on 6 November and 24 November 2001 found that the storm on 24 November triggered the EPB occurrence whereas storm on 6 November suppressed the EPB occurrence. The enhancement/suppression of EPB occurrences during storms periods is a consequence of a storm-induced prompt penetration electric field as well as disturbance dynamo electric field effects associated with the main phase of the geomagnetic storm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9164-9178
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • equatorial plasma bubble
  • geomagnetic storm
  • solar activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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