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On the Role of Physical Processes in Controlling Equatorial Plasma Bubble Morphology
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  • Giorgio Arlan da Silva Picanço,
  • Clezio Marcos Denardini,
  • Paulo Alexandre Bronzato Nogueira,
  • Paulo Roberto Fagundes,
  • Amalia Meza,
  • Luciano Pedro Oscar Mendoza,
  • Marcelo Banik Pádua,
  • María Paula Natali,
  • Laysa Cristina Araujo Resende,
  • Luiz Fillip Rodrigues Vital
Giorgio Arlan da Silva Picanço
University of Vale of Paraíba (UNIVAP)

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Clezio Marcos Denardini
National Institute for Space Research
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Paulo Alexandre Bronzato Nogueira
Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Sao Paulo
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Paulo Roberto Fagundes
Universidade do Vale do Paraiba - UNIVAP
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Amalia Meza
MAGGIA Laboratory, Facultad de Cs. Astronomicas y Geofisicas de La Plata and CONICET
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Luciano Pedro Oscar Mendoza
Universidad Nacional de La Plata
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Marcelo Banik Pádua
National Institute for Space Research
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María Paula Natali
Laboratorio de Meteorología espacial, Atmósfera terrestre, Geodesia, Geodinámica, diseño de Instrumental y Astrometría (MAGGIA), Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas (FCAG), Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), CONICET
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Laysa Cristina Araujo Resende
National Institute for Space Research/China-Brazil Joint Laboratory of Space Weather
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Luiz Fillip Rodrigues Vital
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais
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In this study, we present the results of an analysis of the morphological features of Equatorial Plasma Bubbles (EPBs) over South America. In this context, we analyzed data from the Disturbance Ionosphere indeX (DIX) maps calculated using around 450 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations. To mitigate the influence of magnetic disturbances on bubble development, only data from geomagnetically quiet days were utilized. This study covered the period from the post-peak of solar cycle 24 (2015) to the pre-peak of solar cycle 25 (2023), totaling 1321 nights with EPB occurrences, representing the largest dataset of EPBs ever compiled for South America. Our analysis unveiled several key findings regarding EPBs and their behavior over the South American region. Firstly, we observed that the amplitude of plasma depletions and the EPB latitudinal development follow an approximately 11-year cycle driven by solar radiation levels. Furthermore, our analysis highlights the significant influence of factors such as vertical plasma drift velocity during the pre-reversal enhancement (PRE), longitudinal variations associated with magnetic declination, as well as the saturation behavior of EPB development with extreme solar flux. Finally, we outline an empirical model to calculate the maximum latitudinal extent of EPBs based on solar flux and magnetic declination as an attempt to provide insights for anticipating EPB behavior across different solar cycle stages and in different longitude sectors.