Infrasonic acoustic waves generated by fast air heating in sprite cores

Caitano L. Da Silva, Victor P. Pasko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    11 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Acceleration, expansion, and branching of sprite streamers can lead to concentration of high electrical currents in regions of space, that are observed in the form of bright sprite cores. Driven by this electrical current, a series of chemical processes take place in the sprite plasma. Excitation, followed by quenching of excited electronic states leads to energy transfer from charged to neutral species. The consequence is heating and expansion of air leading to emission of infrasonic acoustic waves. Results indicate that ≳0.01 Pa pressure perturbations on the ground, observed in association with sprites, can only be produced by exceptionally strong currents in sprite cores, exceeding 2 kA. Key Points Coupling of plasma and neutral gas dynamics in sprites Mechanism of infrasound radiation from sprites Dependence of infrasound amplitudes on sprite currents

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1789-1795
    Number of pages7
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Volume41
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 16 2014

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Geophysics
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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