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in-situ Observations of Ionospheric Plasma Blobs Over Nigeria (9.08⁰N, 8.67⁰E) During Deep Solar Minimum: Possible Influence of Small-Scale Fluctuations in Ionospheric Plasma Density
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  • Oluwasegun Micheal Adebayo,
  • A. Babatunde Rabiu,
  • Kazuo Shiokawa,
  • Daniel Izuikedinachi Okoh,
  • Aderonke Adekemi Obafaye,
  • Alexandre Alvares Pimenta,
  • Yuichi Otsuka,
  • Oluwakemi Esther Dare-Idowu
Oluwasegun Micheal Adebayo
National Institute for Space Research (INPE)

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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A. Babatunde Rabiu
National Space Research and Development Agency NASRDA,, Abuja, Nigeria
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Kazuo Shiokawa
Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University
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Daniel Izuikedinachi Okoh
Space Environment Research Laboratory
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Aderonke Adekemi Obafaye
Centre for Atmospheric Research
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Alexandre Alvares Pimenta
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais
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Yuichi Otsuka
Nagoya University
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Oluwakemi Esther Dare-Idowu
United Nations African Regional Centre for Space Science Technology and Education - English, (UN-ARCSSTE-E)
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Ionospheric plasma blobs have long been studied since it was first reported in 1986. Blobs are localized regions of enhanced plasma with a factor of 2 or 3 above ambient plasma. In this paper, we studied the occurrence of blobs over Nigeria (9.08⁰N, 8.67⁰E geographic coordinates) using the SWARM constellation satellites – ionospheric plasma density dataset specifically. We considered only the nighttime pass of the satellites over Nigeria with time frame 18:00 to 04:59 LT. The satellites passed over Nigeria 126 times in 2019 with 41 cases of plasma blobs. The results show that 58% of the cases were found without bubbles nearby, 29% of the cases were found in the presence of small-scale fluctuations in ionospheric plasma density (henceforth “SSFiI”). From the spectral analysis, the average wavelength, period and the propagating speed of SSFiI are 11 km, 2-4 seconds, and 2.75 – 5.5 km/s, respectively. The rate of change of the electron density inside the blobs associated with SSFiI was ~50% above that of the blobs in the absence of SSFiI. This suggests that bubbles may not be the only prerequisite for the development and dynamics of blobs; and SSFiI may play a significant role in the morphology and dynamics of blobs.
06 Dec 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
10 Dec 2023Published in ESS Open Archive