A survey of ELF and VLF research on lightning-ionosphere interactions and causative discharges

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2010-01-01

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Abstract

Extremely low frequency (ELF) and very low frequency (VLF) observations have formed the cornerstone of measurement and interpretation of effects of lightning discharges on the overlying upper atmospheric regions, as well as near-Earth space. ELF (0.3-3 kHz) and VLF (3-30 kHz) wave energy released by lightning discharges is often the agent of modification of the lower ionospheric medium that results in the conductivity changes and the excitation of optical emissions that constitute transient luminous events (TLEs). In addition, the resultant ionospheric changes are best (and often uniquely) observable as perturbations of subionospherically propagating VLF signals. In fact, some of the earliest evidence for direct disturbances of the lower ionosphere in association with lightning discharges was obtained in the course of the study of such VLF perturbations. Measurements of the detailed ELF and VLF waveforms of parent lightning discharges that produce TLEs and terrestrial gamma ray flashes (TGFs) have also been very fruitful, often revealing properties of such discharges that maximize ionospheric effects, such as generation of intense electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) or removal of large quantities of charge. In this paper, we provide a review of the development of ELF and VLF measurements, both from a historical point of view and from the point of view of their relationship to optical and other observations of ionospheric effects of lightning discharges. Copyright © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

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10.1029/2009JA014775

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Inan, US, SA Cummer and RA Marshall (2010). A survey of ELF and VLF research on lightning-ionosphere interactions and causative discharges. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 115(6). p. A00E36. 10.1029/2009JA014775 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/4168.

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Scholars@Duke

Cummer

Steven A. Cummer

William H. Younger Distinguished Professor of Engineering

Dr. Steven Cummer received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1997 and prior to joining Duke University in 1999 he spent two years at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as an NRC postdoctoral research associate. Awards he has received include a National Science Foundation CAREER award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2001. His current work is in a variety of theoretical and experimental electromagnetic problems related to geophysical remote sensing and engineered electromagnetic materials.


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