Formation of single and double-headed streamers in sprite-halo events

Jianqi Qin, Sebastien Celestin, Victor P. Pasko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    31 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Sprite streamers initiate from electron inhomogeneities in the lower ionosphere and undergo significant acceleration and expansion growth before their optical emissions become observable. It is shown that electron inhomogeneities located at high altitudes in the region of sprite halo, which may be sub-visual, only transform into single-headed downward streamers, and corresponding upward streamers quickly merge into the sprite halo due to fast relaxation of lightning-induced electric field. In contrast, the inhomogeneities located at and below the lower edge of the sprite halo, where a high field region persists significantly longer, can transform into double-headed streamers. The upward negative streamer heads start from the existing bright structures in the channel of previous downward streamers as observed by Cummer et al. (2006), McHarg et al. (2007), and Stenbaek-Nielsen and McHarg (2008) because at low altitudes, electron density enhancements associated with these channels are much stronger than in preexisting inhomogeneities in the ambient ionosphere.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numberL05810
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Volume39
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

    Fingerprint

    sprite
    inhomogeneity
    halos
    ionosphere
    transform
    lower ionosphere
    electron
    low altitude
    lightning
    high altitude
    electron density
    ionospheres
    light emission
    electric field
    electrons
    expansion
    electric fields
    augmentation

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Geophysics
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

    Cite this

    @article{f1d0727b476f4b0da722b2304de923ea,
    title = "Formation of single and double-headed streamers in sprite-halo events",
    abstract = "Sprite streamers initiate from electron inhomogeneities in the lower ionosphere and undergo significant acceleration and expansion growth before their optical emissions become observable. It is shown that electron inhomogeneities located at high altitudes in the region of sprite halo, which may be sub-visual, only transform into single-headed downward streamers, and corresponding upward streamers quickly merge into the sprite halo due to fast relaxation of lightning-induced electric field. In contrast, the inhomogeneities located at and below the lower edge of the sprite halo, where a high field region persists significantly longer, can transform into double-headed streamers. The upward negative streamer heads start from the existing bright structures in the channel of previous downward streamers as observed by Cummer et al. (2006), McHarg et al. (2007), and Stenbaek-Nielsen and McHarg (2008) because at low altitudes, electron density enhancements associated with these channels are much stronger than in preexisting inhomogeneities in the ambient ionosphere.",
    author = "Jianqi Qin and Sebastien Celestin and Pasko, {Victor P.}",
    year = "2012",
    month = "3",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1029/2012GL051088",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "39",
    journal = "Geophysical Research Letters",
    issn = "0094-8276",
    publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
    number = "5",

    }

    Formation of single and double-headed streamers in sprite-halo events. / Qin, Jianqi; Celestin, Sebastien; Pasko, Victor P.

    In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 39, No. 5, L05810, 01.03.2012.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Formation of single and double-headed streamers in sprite-halo events

    AU - Qin, Jianqi

    AU - Celestin, Sebastien

    AU - Pasko, Victor P.

    PY - 2012/3/1

    Y1 - 2012/3/1

    N2 - Sprite streamers initiate from electron inhomogeneities in the lower ionosphere and undergo significant acceleration and expansion growth before their optical emissions become observable. It is shown that electron inhomogeneities located at high altitudes in the region of sprite halo, which may be sub-visual, only transform into single-headed downward streamers, and corresponding upward streamers quickly merge into the sprite halo due to fast relaxation of lightning-induced electric field. In contrast, the inhomogeneities located at and below the lower edge of the sprite halo, where a high field region persists significantly longer, can transform into double-headed streamers. The upward negative streamer heads start from the existing bright structures in the channel of previous downward streamers as observed by Cummer et al. (2006), McHarg et al. (2007), and Stenbaek-Nielsen and McHarg (2008) because at low altitudes, electron density enhancements associated with these channels are much stronger than in preexisting inhomogeneities in the ambient ionosphere.

    AB - Sprite streamers initiate from electron inhomogeneities in the lower ionosphere and undergo significant acceleration and expansion growth before their optical emissions become observable. It is shown that electron inhomogeneities located at high altitudes in the region of sprite halo, which may be sub-visual, only transform into single-headed downward streamers, and corresponding upward streamers quickly merge into the sprite halo due to fast relaxation of lightning-induced electric field. In contrast, the inhomogeneities located at and below the lower edge of the sprite halo, where a high field region persists significantly longer, can transform into double-headed streamers. The upward negative streamer heads start from the existing bright structures in the channel of previous downward streamers as observed by Cummer et al. (2006), McHarg et al. (2007), and Stenbaek-Nielsen and McHarg (2008) because at low altitudes, electron density enhancements associated with these channels are much stronger than in preexisting inhomogeneities in the ambient ionosphere.

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84858626889&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84858626889&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1029/2012GL051088

    DO - 10.1029/2012GL051088

    M3 - Article

    VL - 39

    JO - Geophysical Research Letters

    JF - Geophysical Research Letters

    SN - 0094-8276

    IS - 5

    M1 - L05810

    ER -