Electron acceleration above thunderclouds
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The acceleration of electrons results in observable electromagnetic waves which can be used for remote sensing. Here, we make use of similar to 4 Hz-66 MHz radio waves emitted by two consecutive intense positive lightning discharges to investigate their impact on the atmosphere above a thundercloud. It is found that the first positive lightning discharge initiates a sprite where electrons are accelerated during the exponential growth and branching of the sprite streamers. This preconditioned plasma above the thundercloud is subsequently exposed to a second positive lightning discharge associated with a bouncing-wave discharge. This discharge process causes a re-brightening of the existing sprite streamers above the thundercloud and initiates a subsequent relativistic electron beam.
Fuellekrug , M , Kolmasova , I , Santolik , O , Farges , T , Bor , J , Bennett , A , Parrot , M , Rison , W , Zanotti , F , Arnone , E , Mezentsev , A , Lan , R , Uhlir , L , Harrison , G , Soula , S , van der Velde , O , Pincon , J-L , Helling , C & Diver , D 2013 , ' Electron acceleration above thunderclouds ' Environmental Research Letters , vol 8 , no. 3 , 035027 . DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035027
Environmental Research Letters
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The work of MF andAMis sponsored by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) under grant NE/H024921/1. IK, OS, RL, and LU are supported by the international cooperation program of the ASCR grant M10042120 and by the GACR project 205-09-1253. JB is supported by the Earth-system project TAMOP-4.2.2.C-11/1/KONV-2012-0015 sponsored by the EU and European Social Foundation. OV is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation under project AYA2011-29936-C05-04. ChH acknowledges an ERC starting grant from the European Union.