An enduring challenge in characterizing ionospheric intermediate-scale irregularity structure is generating a three-dimensional model. In-situ measurements provide one-dimensional scans, which must be reconciled with a higher dimensional model. Physics-based three-dimensional realizations of the development of equatorial plasma bubbles have been used for some time, but until recent work by Tatsuhiro Yokoyama . Thasuhiro has generously made his high-resolution simulations available for structure characterization. The results are presented in a paper submitted for publication.
The image below shows a perspective view of the three-dimensional structure at a late phase in the development. The stochastic structure is confined to two-dimensional slice planes that intercept the field lines that terminate at low altitudes in opposite hemispheres.
Stochastic structure models typically assume an-isotropic structure in three dimensions. However, at some point, the quasi-deterministic field-aligned structure structure become important, which will be addressed in a later blog.
The classification in the paper is confined to time and height dependence as measured in slice planes. A graphic examples of the structure development is show in the movie.