Simulation of leader speeds at gigantic jet altitudes

Caitano L. Da Silva, Victor P. Pasko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Lightning leaders advance in space by creating a heating conversion zone in their tips (i.e., streamer-to-leader transition) in which Joule heating produced by currents of many non-thermal corona streamers transforms into a hot and conducting leader channel. It is believed that the initial stages of transient luminous events termed gigantic jets (GJs) propagating toward the lower ionosphere are directly related to leaders initiated by conventional intra-cloud lightning discharges and escaping upward from thundercloud tops. In the present work we provide quantitative description of speeds of these leaders as a function of leader current and ambient air density (altitude). The direct comparisons with available experimental data indicate that the initial speeds of GJs of ̃50 km/s are consistent with leaders possessing currents 2-8 A. The observed acceleration of GJs can be explained by growth of the leader current, and at high altitudes (low air densities) may be significantly affected by predominance of non-thermal (i.e., streamer) discharge forms.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numberL13805
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Volume39
    Issue number13
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

    Fingerprint

    lightning
    thundercloud
    heating
    simulation
    lower ionosphere
    ambient air
    corona
    ionosphere
    Joule heating
    air
    transform
    high altitude
    coronas
    conduction
    speed
    comparison

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
    • Geophysics

    Cite this

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    title = "Simulation of leader speeds at gigantic jet altitudes",
    abstract = "Lightning leaders advance in space by creating a heating conversion zone in their tips (i.e., streamer-to-leader transition) in which Joule heating produced by currents of many non-thermal corona streamers transforms into a hot and conducting leader channel. It is believed that the initial stages of transient luminous events termed gigantic jets (GJs) propagating toward the lower ionosphere are directly related to leaders initiated by conventional intra-cloud lightning discharges and escaping upward from thundercloud tops. In the present work we provide quantitative description of speeds of these leaders as a function of leader current and ambient air density (altitude). The direct comparisons with available experimental data indicate that the initial speeds of GJs of ̃50 km/s are consistent with leaders possessing currents 2-8 A. The observed acceleration of GJs can be explained by growth of the leader current, and at high altitudes (low air densities) may be significantly affected by predominance of non-thermal (i.e., streamer) discharge forms.",
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    Simulation of leader speeds at gigantic jet altitudes. / Da Silva, Caitano L.; Pasko, Victor P.

    In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 39, No. 13, L13805, 01.07.2012.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Simulation of leader speeds at gigantic jet altitudes

    AU - Da Silva, Caitano L.

    AU - Pasko, Victor P.

    PY - 2012/7/1

    Y1 - 2012/7/1

    N2 - Lightning leaders advance in space by creating a heating conversion zone in their tips (i.e., streamer-to-leader transition) in which Joule heating produced by currents of many non-thermal corona streamers transforms into a hot and conducting leader channel. It is believed that the initial stages of transient luminous events termed gigantic jets (GJs) propagating toward the lower ionosphere are directly related to leaders initiated by conventional intra-cloud lightning discharges and escaping upward from thundercloud tops. In the present work we provide quantitative description of speeds of these leaders as a function of leader current and ambient air density (altitude). The direct comparisons with available experimental data indicate that the initial speeds of GJs of ̃50 km/s are consistent with leaders possessing currents 2-8 A. The observed acceleration of GJs can be explained by growth of the leader current, and at high altitudes (low air densities) may be significantly affected by predominance of non-thermal (i.e., streamer) discharge forms.

    AB - Lightning leaders advance in space by creating a heating conversion zone in their tips (i.e., streamer-to-leader transition) in which Joule heating produced by currents of many non-thermal corona streamers transforms into a hot and conducting leader channel. It is believed that the initial stages of transient luminous events termed gigantic jets (GJs) propagating toward the lower ionosphere are directly related to leaders initiated by conventional intra-cloud lightning discharges and escaping upward from thundercloud tops. In the present work we provide quantitative description of speeds of these leaders as a function of leader current and ambient air density (altitude). The direct comparisons with available experimental data indicate that the initial speeds of GJs of ̃50 km/s are consistent with leaders possessing currents 2-8 A. The observed acceleration of GJs can be explained by growth of the leader current, and at high altitudes (low air densities) may be significantly affected by predominance of non-thermal (i.e., streamer) discharge forms.

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