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Modeling initial breakdown pulses of CG lightning flashes

Author:
Karunarathne, Sumedhe   Marshall, Thomas C.   Stolzenburg, Maribeth   Karunarathna, Nadeeka  


Journal:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres


Issue Date:
2014


Abstract(summary):

Electric field change waveforms of initial breakdown pulses (IBPs) in cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flashes were recorded at ten sites at Kennedy Space center, Florida, in 2011. Six "classic" IBPs were modeled using three modified transmission line (MTL) models called MTLL, MTLE, and MTLK. The locations of the six IBPs were obtained using a time-of-arrival method and used as inputs for the models; the recorded IBP waveforms from six to eight sites were used as model constraints. All three models were able to reasonably fit the measured IBP waveforms; the best fit was most often given by the MTLE model. For each individual IBP, there was good agreement between the three models on several physical parameters of the IBPs: current risetime, current falltime, current shape factor, current propagation speed, and the total charge moment change. For the six IBPs modeled, the ranges, mean values, and standard deviations of these quantities are as follows: current risetime [4.8-25, (12 +/- 6)] mu s, current falltime [15-37, (25 +/- 6)] mu s, current speed [0.78-1.8, (1.3 +/- 0.3)] x 10(8) m/s, and charge moment change [0.015-0.30, (0.12 +/- 0.10)] C km. Currents in the MTLL and MTLE models moved a negative charge -Q downward and deposited an equivalent positive charge +Q along their paths; the mean Q values were 0.35 C for MTLL and 0.71 C for MTLE. MTLK model deposited negative charge along its lower path and positive charge along its upper path with mean values of 0.27 C.


Page:
9003-9019


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