Effect of the space charge layer created by corona at ground level on the inception of upward lightning leaders from tall towers
2007 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, Vol. 112, no D12, D12205- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Electric field measurements above ground have shown that the space charge layer created by corona at ground level shields the background electric field produced by the thundercloud. Therefore it is expected that this space charge layer can also influence the conditions required to initiate upward lightning from tall objects. For this reason, a numerical model that describes the evolution of the main electrical parameters below a thunderstorm is used to compute the space charge layer development. The time variation of the electric field measured at 600 m above ground during the 1989 rocket triggered lightning experiment at the Kennedy Space Center (Florida) is used to drive the model. The obtained space charge density profiles are used to compute the conditions required to initiate stable upward lightning positive leaders from tall towers. Corona at the tip of the tower is neglected. It is found that the space charge layer significantly affects the critical thundercloud electric fields required to initiate upward lightning leaders from tall objects. The neutral aerosol particle concentration is observed to have a significant influence on the space charge density profiles and the critical thundercloud electric fields, whereas the corona current density does not considerably affect the results for the cases considered in the analysis. It is found that a lower thundercloud electric field is required to trigger a lightning flash from a tall tower or other tall slender grounded structure in the case of sites with a high neutral aerosol particle concentration, like polluted areas or coastal regions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 112, no D12, D12205- p.
North America, United States, Florida, density currents, Current density, concentration, particles, aerosols, Charge density, experimental studies, time variations, Thunderstorm, digital simulation, numerical models, Thundercloud, shields, electrical field, lightning, Space charge
Engineering and Technology Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97284DOI: 10.1029/2006JD008308ISI: 000247534000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-97284DiVA: diva2:172150