Plasmaspheric plumes have ionospheric signatures and are observed as storm-enhanced density (SED) in global positioning system (GPS) total electron content (TEC). These ionospheric signatures have been primarily observed over the American sector and in a few limited examples over the European sector. This study examines the longitudinal occurrence frequency of plasmaspheric plumes. We analyzed all images from the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUV) databases for the first half of 2001 and identified a total of 31 distinct plume intervals observed during different storm events. Out of the total IMAGE EUV plumes that we identified, 12 were projected over North America, 10 over Asia, and the remaining 9 were over Europe and the Atlantic Ocean. Using ground-based GPS TEC from MIT's Madrigal database, we searched for corresponding SED/TEC plumes at different longitudinal sector and found 12 ionospheric SED plume signatures over North America, 4 over Europe, and 2 over Asia. This indicates that the observation probability of an ionospheric SED plume when a plasmaspheric plume is seen is 100% in the American sector, 50% in the European sector, and 20% in the Asian sector. This could be due to the fact that the plumes may be either positioned beyond the limit of the ground-based GPS field of view, which happens mainly when there is less plasmaspheric erosion, or are too weak to be detected by the sparse number of GPS receivers over Asia. The in situ plasma densities from the available coincident defense metrological satellite program (DMSP) satellites were also used to study the characteristics of SED/TEC plume at DMSP orbiting altitude (i.e., ∼870 km). The TOPographic EXplorer (TOPEX) altimeter TEC also is used to identify the conjugate SED/plume signature over the Southern Hemisphere.
Yizengaw, E., J. Dewar, J. MacNeil, M. B. Moldwin, D. Galvan, J. Sanny, D. Berube, and B. Sandel (2008), The occurrence of ionospheric signatures of plasmaspheric plumes over different longitudinal sectors, J. Geophys. Res., 113, A08318, doi:10.1029/2007JA012925.