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Detection of in-cloud lightning with VLF/LF and VHF networks for studies of the initial discharge phase

Abstract : Lightning initiation and the associated in-cloud parts of lightning flashes have been studied by comparing thunderstorm data from two independent networks, LINET and SAFIR-type systems, operating in the VLF/LF and VHF regime, respectively. The two networks respond to radiation pulses with different length scales; an event detected by VLF/LF must be hundreds of meters long. In all 12 storms studied, up to half of the first in-cloud events detected with the VHF networks were found to be closely time-correlated with the first VLF/LF signal. Range-normalized VLF/LF signal amplitudes of the time-coincident events (TCEs) are comparable to amplitudes of weak cloud-to-ground strokes. Without measured preparatory VHF emission activity, initial breakdown in TCEs seems to start directly with a strong discharge step producing signatures in VLF/LF records. The TCE data are consistent with lightning initiation via a runaway breakdown mechanism that extended over hundreds of meters.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03742706
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Submitted on : Friday, August 19, 2022 - 3:59:55 PM
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Geophysical Research Letters -...
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Hans D. Betz, T. C. Marshall, M. Stolzenburg, Kersten Schmidt, Wolf P. Oettinger, et al.. Detection of in-cloud lightning with VLF/LF and VHF networks for studies of the initial discharge phase. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2008, 35, pp.23802. ⟨10.1029/2008GL035820⟩. ⟨hal-03742706⟩

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