Occurrence climatology of equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs) using optical observations over Kolhapur, India during solar cycle-24

Onkar B. Gurav, Rupesh Namdeorao Ghodpage, Parashram T. Patil, Sripathi Samireddipalle, Ashok K. Sharma, Alok K. Taori, Dadaso J. Shetti


In this paper, the occurrence characteristics of the equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs) using OI 630.0 nm all sky imager (ASI) night airglow observations over Kolhapur (16.8o N, 74.2o E, 10.6o dip. Lat.) during the solar cycle-24 are presented. These results are discussed in terms of season, solar and magnetic activity during years 2011 to 2018. The ASI observations were only carried out during January to May and October to December months due to unfavorable weather conditions. The results suggest that while January, February and December are the only months where EPBs were found to occur over Kolhapur in any year, but the percentage of occurrence of EPBs during these months suggests their low occurrence rate during solar minimum. A total of 683 nights of observations were carried, out of which, 93 nights are found to be magnetically disturbed nights having Ap>18. In addition, the ASI observations are also correlated with Pre-Reversal Enhancement of the vertical drift of the evening sector at Tirunelveli on few storm events for comparison. The important findings of this study are: 1) increase in the occurrence of EPBs with respect to the solar activity; 2) suppression of EPBs on 71 disturbed nights, while enhancement of EPBs on 22 nights under magnetic disturbance; 3) EPBs occurrence during equinox months is found to be higher than winter months during ascending phase of solar cycle-24.; and, 4) EPBs are mostly observed in the pre-midnight sector in the high solar activity (HSA) period, while they are seen in the post-midnight to dawn sector during the low solar activity (LSA) period. We also noticed non-occurrence of EPBs during equinox month in the year 2018 which seems to be peculiar and needs further investigations.


Equatorial Plasma Bubbles, Solar and Geomagnetic Activity, Seasonal occurrence.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-8068
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X