Elve doublets and compact intracloud discharges

R. A. Marshall, C. L. Da Silva, V. P. Pasko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    We present evidence of ionospheric optical signatures of lightning, known as elves, which sometimes occur in pairs separated in time by ∼80-160 μs. We demonstrate that these "elve doublets" are the ionospheric signature of compact intracloud discharges (CIDs), which are extremely powerful, compact discharges that are thought to occur near the tops of thunderclouds. In this paper, using simple geometric calculations and full electromagnetic simulations, we show that CIDs from altitudes 14-22 km explain the time delay observed in elve doublets, consistent with typical CID altitudes. Furthermore, we show that the relative brightness of the first and second elves in the doublet is likely related to the orientation of the CID, and angles of 5°- 20° with respect to the vertical are consistent with the observed brightness ratios.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)6112-6119
    Number of pages8
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Volume42
    Issue number14
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 28 2015

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Geophysics
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Elve doublets and compact intracloud discharges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this